Good Times in Choteau

Four of us traveled northwest of Great Falls on US 89 last week. Our first stop was in Choteau. We met Al Wiseman, a local Metis, who works tirelessly to keep the history of this mixed blood race alive. Outside the Old Trail Museum (open seasonally Memorial Day – Labor Day) there is a replica of one of the Red River carts that many Metis used to carry their belongings. Quite a few Metis settled in … Read more

Browning Firearm Collection

The C. M. Russell Museum is thought of as an art museum and it’s certainly that and much more. The artist’s log studio filled with Native American artifacts is one of my favorites but I was also intrigued by the Browning Firearms Collection just off the main lobby of the museum. This collection used to be tucked away in a far corner in the basement – it is finally in a highly visible area of … Read more

Marias Museum’s New Clock

The newest exhibit at Shelby’s Marias Museum of History and Art is definitely “timely”. Last Tuesday evening the museum hosted an open house and dedication of a new clock display covering almost an entire wall. The first time I was ever at the Marias Museum of History and Art I was sure I was going in the wrong direction. The original museum is an entire home at 1129 1st Street North in Shelby’s residential district. I always tell people … Read more

C M Russell Museum – Always Impressive

I wouldn’t even venture to guess how many times I have been to the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. Every time I visit the Russell I seem to learn something more about this amazing cowboy artist. Right now my favorite exhibit is The Bison: An American Icon. This photo shows the centerpiece of the exhibit but there are many other notable features. When you enter the exhibit you hear the thunder of bison hooves and it feels like the floor is vibrating … Read more

Plein Air Workshop at Russell Museum

The C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, MT was the site of a plein air painting workshop taught by area artist Tom Gilleon this past Monday and Tuesday. Tom is known for his incredibly high quality art works, most notably his teepees. And, that was the “model” for this week’s workshop. Monday’s weather forecast was an iffy one…it would have been a toss-up whether to cancel or set up someplace inside. An inside workshop … Read more

We Visit Winifred’s Museum

My travel buddies had an idea of what we would see at Winifred’s museum. I had told them previously that the museum has what is thought to be the largest collection of Tonka trucks. Not only is that pretty cool, for a town of just a couple hundred people, it is downright amazing. We started out with a mellow drive from the Missouri River at Judith Landing to the town of Winifred. Then, I decided I had better … Read more

Charlie Russell Through the Eyes of a Child

This past Sunday was the Great Falls Museum Consortium’s “Sunday Sampler” with free admission to ten different museums and interpretive centers. A Treasure Hunt map was available for those who would attempt to visit all attractions that afternoon. It was a beautiful day, coming on the heels of some midweek snow, and we were ready to be out and about. As we entered the Russell Museum in Great Falls’ lower northside neighborhood it seemed quiet. Sunday Sampler … Read more

Unique Firearms

At the International Sportsmen’s Expo in Phoenix recently I looked at some very different firearms, courtesy of the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA. I didn’t even know there was a museum like that! They had several rifles and pistols displayed from different movie sets. This one is a John Wayne special from the original version of the movie True Grit. It reminded me that we have some pretty unique firearm collections in Russell Country. … Read more

Montana Law Enforcement Museum

Yesterday I was at a meeting at Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls. Just a couple doors away from our meeting room was the Montana Law Enforcement Museum. I have been there before but I was amazed at how many in the group hadn’t even heard of the museum. The Law Enforcement Museum is small, basically one long, open room with some prized displays. One of the first ones you see is a mountain lion which … Read more

History Museum Features Glacier Exhibit

Two exhibits at The History Museum in Great Falls, MT are related – one is of trains and specifically the Great Northern Railroad, the other is of Glacier National Park whose existence would have been vastly different if the railroad had not come through the area. The railroad follows closely along US Highway 2 and pretty much skirts the southern border of Glacier. I love seeing the Great Northern memorabilia, especially the mountain goat. Jim … Read more