Historic Sites
Learn through history by visiting interesting historic sites around the state of Montana. Historic sites let you put a real face on the history that you've read about, making it more exciting for you and your children.
Historic Sites in Montana
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
On a scorching June Sunday in 1876, thousands of Indian warriors converged on a grassy ridge rising above the valley of Montana's Little Bighorn River. On the ridge five companies of United States cavalry,including officers and troopers, fought desperately but hopelessly against many times their number. When the guns fell silent and the smoke and dust of battle lifted, no soldier survived. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument memorializes the epic Battle of the Little Bighorn fought on June 25-26, 1876. Here in the valley of the Little Bighorn, Lt Col. George Armstrong Custer and 262 soldiers and attached personel of the 7th Cavalry, guided by Crow and Arikara scouts, met defeat and death by an overwhelming force of over 1,500 Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors.
Gallatin Historical Society Pioneer Museum
The Gallatin Historical Society, founded in 1977, moved into two rooms in the county jail building in 1979. Built in 1911, the jail was already considered an historic structure. When prisoners were moved to new quarters in January 1982, the county commissioners granted the Society use of the entire building for the Pioneer Museum. Since 1982, the Pioneer Museum has offered a variety of changing exhibits portraying earlier days in the Gallatin Valley. The Society sponsors various programs throughout the year, including the annual History Conference. The Society is also active with an ambitious outreach program, sending exhibits of photographs and artifacts to fairs, banks, schools, and conferences.
Crazy Mountain Museum
The Crazy Mountain Museum is a historical museum featuring exhibits that reflect the history of Sweet Grass County and the surrounding area. The museum is maintained by the Sweet Grass Museum Society, a non-profit organization. The Sweet Grass Museum Society has its roots in the Pioneer Society founded in the early 1900's. A permanent home was built and completed 1992 and named Crazy Mountain Museum. It is located south of Big Timber on Cemetery Road southeast of the west Interstate exit to Big Timber. The museum has evolved from a display facility located in a building on McLeod Street. In addition to displays, it now includes a research area, including a large master index for individuals mentioned in a wide variety of documents and pictures.
Western Heritage Center
The Western Heritage Center is a regional museum that interprets and reflects the life and culture of the Yellowstone River Valley. Located in downtown Billings in the former Parmly Billings Library, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Western Heritage Center cares for a collection of over 16,000 artifacts, including over 1,000 photographs that document the social history, architecture, public events and the development of the Yellowstone River Valley. Recent oral history projects have focused on interviews with elderly Yellowstone River Valley residents about farming and ranching activities, Crow and Northern Cheyenne women and Deaconess Billings Clinic personnel. This research will be used for future exhibits and publications. Scholars and students of history from throughout the United States have researched our archives and collection. The Western Heritage Press publishes material relating to the Yellowstone River Valley, including books, pamphlets and a guide to historic sites.
World Museum of Mining and Hell Roarin' Gulch
This 44-acre museum in Butte, Montana, preserves more than a century of American history and brings it to life. Explore more than 50 structures, ranging from the 100-foot-high headframe of the Orphan Girl Mine to a faithful recreation of a mining town, Hell Roarin' Gulch. Half of the displays focus on the cultural and ethnic history of an 1880s to 1920s mining town, while the other half provides you with a detailed look at the history of mining technology. As one of very few museums to occupy an actual historic mine site, they are uniquely able to portray the story of mining from earliest methods to modern techniques.
Moss Mansion Historic House Museum
Step into history with a one-hour guided tour of the Moss Mansion Historic House Museum. The tour captures early turn-of-the-century life as the Preston Boyd Moss family lived it. Visitors see original draperies, fixtures, furniture, Persian carpets and artifacts displayed in the 1903 red sandstone structure. Designed by the New York architect, Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, designer of the original Waldorf Astoria, Plaza Hotels, Williard Hotel, and Copely Hotel. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in Billings.
Big Hole National Battlefield
Big Hole National Battlefield is a memorial to the people who fought and died here on August 9 and 10, 1877; combatants in a five month conflict that came to be called the Nez Perce War of 1877. Like other Indian Wars in the late 1800's, the Nez Perce War involved two very different groups with very different outlooks on land rights, civilian authority, government powers, social organization, and the responsibilities of the individuals to society.
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