Stanford Montana

Elevation: 4,288 Population: 260 County: Judith Basin

Stanford, the county seat of Judith Basin County, sits off of MT Highway 200 midway between Lewistown and Great Falls. Montana's cowboy artist Charlie Russell spent a considerable amount of time in the Stanford area and the landscape played an integral role in his art. The C.M. Russell Auto Tour provides interpretive booklets highlighting sites between Lewistown and Great Falls that were featured in Russell paintings. Today, Stanford continues Russell's legacy of art. The Basin Gallery in downtown Stanford features the contemporary artwork of members of the Montana Mid-State Arts Society. Steven Lillegard has been creating original bronzes for over thirty years in his studio and foundry on the edge of town. The Prairie Past Museum is adjacent to the foundry. If you drive through Stanford in the fall, you might be able to see the artistry and whimsy of locals during the Scarecrows in the Garden festival. In addition to art, Stanford showcases its history at the Judith Basin County Museum. Stanford's version of a mini-mall, the Basin Trading Post, has a display of historic photographs and the white wolf that terrorized area ranchers' livestock.

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