Central Montana Museum

Our mission is to collect, preserve and exhibit artifacts and material items which depict the cultural aspects of Central Montana, beginning with the first inhabitants of the area. Through interpretation, it is our hope to portray their lifestyles and preserve the existence of the historical communities throughout the area for the education and enjoyment of this and future generations.

The area’s history is chronologically portrayed beginning in the 1870’s when the area was largely unsettled and buffalo roamed the open prairies. Our museum features many photos and displays portraying the changes that resulted as many settlers from all walks of life came to this area and filed on homesteads. Also on exhibit are a variety of collections (dolls, hats, wedding dresses, fire arms, forts, fossils, historic replicas and dioramas, Native American art and artifacts, medical equipment and photos from St. Joseph’s Hospital, military, photos, musical instruments, and many others) and displays with interpretation featuring some of the area’s most notorious characters:

  • Rattlesnake Jake Owens (outlaw)
  • Charles M. Russell (cowboy/famous artist)
  • Granville Stuart (cattleman/Vigilante leader)
  • Bertie Brown (moonshine entrepreneur/rancher)
  • William Culver (photographer)
  • Ed McGivern (sign maker/pistol fast draw exhibitionist/world record maker)
  • Charlie Cooley (businessman/civic leader) 
  • Tom Toomey (saddle maker)
  • Jimmy Kaaro (circus performer/trick roper/animal trainer/lawman)
  • Jane Burnett Smith (bronc rider/stunt rider/author)

You're most welcome to sit a spell and thumb through our extensive collections of photographs and local history books of Central Montana’s communities or view educational media in electronic format. A variety of books, fossils, memorabilia, electronic media, and locally made products are for sale in the store area located near the front door.

Our displays are ever-changing as we strive to make each visit unique and memorable. We sure hope that you'll stop in and explore Central Montana's past.  We'd be mighty obliged, too, if you'd encourage your friends and acquaintances to visit us as well.

The museum is open from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM daily, Memorial weekend through Labor Day. Tours may be arranged during the off season by contacting Shirley Barrick at 406-535-9289. 

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