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Issue 7 2015-2016

IN THIS ISSUE Extreme History Project Haunted Historian Yellowstone's 100th Anniversary Montana State Prison at Deer Lodge Fort Ellis


Photographs courtesy of Donnie Sexton and the Yellowstone Historic Center Museum

L odging • A ctivities • t ours • P AckAges

800.221.1151 W est Y elloWstone , M ontana





Publisher Mike Rey


History in the Making

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport

Jessica Bayramian Byerly


150th Anniversary

Online Director



A Profile of Paleontologist Jack Horner


Montana's Darkest Place

Forgotten Stories from the State Prison at Deer Lodge


Chris Rey


Design Jared Byerly


Uncovering a Community

Patti Albrecht Crystal Alegria Jon Axline Ellen Baumler Jessica Bayramian Byerly Tom Cook J.M. Cooper Michael Fox Marsha Fulton Alison Grey Heather C. Hultman Marietta Johnstone Carol Mealer Marcia Melton Anne Marie Mistretta Margie Johnstone Nelsen Rachel Phillips Dave Reuss Thomas C. Rust, Ph. D.

5 Reasons

Ad Sales

National Park Service Creating Ambiance

with Centre Sky


Fort Parker


Crail Ranch North


The First Crow Agency Conservators Connect

I Beg Your Pardon

The Curious Fate of the James B. Daniels Reprieve


History Isn't Pretty







The Extreme History Project

Gallatin County's 1925 Earthquake Bozeman's African American Heritage

Ancient Roman History

Finds its way to Montana


The Beartooth Highway


Do You Wish to Speak with the Dead?


Having Swell Time

Greatest Road in America Mediums in Montana

Bozeman Oaks Softball Team


Take an Adventure Through Time


The Haunted Historian

Mike Rey

Fort Ellis Commanders Hated the Town of Bozeman


100 Years of Stewardship in Yellowstone



Montana Historical Society

Extreme History Project Walking Tours Local Haunts & Ghost Towns

Montana Historian


Published By Rey Advertising 3220 Hillcrest Drive Bozeman, MT 59715 406-539-1010

On the Cover

Photograph courtesy of Museum of the Rockies and Tamara Knappenberger

a letter From The Editor Montana Historian 2015/2016 Montana’s history is as rich and diverse as its resources. From local aviation pioneer Wayne Seifert to paleontological aficionado Jack Horner, the people of this great state are – and always have been – lively, unique, talented and adventurous. Like the gold, copper and sapphire veins that striate the landscape, Montanans have indelibly tattooed and informed their state’s rough-and-tumble past and vibrant future since well before it was granted statehood in 1889. In this issue of the Montana Historian, we highlight some of the places and events that have left their mark on Montana’s history. Tom Rust, PhD, provides a candid glimpse of early relations between Fort Ellis and Bozeman. Montana Historical Society Interpretive Historian Ellen Baumler reveals the lurid details of turn-of-the-century life at Montana State Prison at Deer Lodge. Rachel Phillips, Research Coordinator at the Gallatin History Museum, shares the story of, and images from, the devastating earthquake that rattled the area in 1925. In our Haunted Historian section, we take a tongue-in-cheek look into the gooseflesh-inducing haunts of Montana’s past and present. Finally, historians with the Extreme History Project explore the dynamic and exciting nature of history and its undeniable impact on our life and times. With its proximity to nature and tight-knit communities reminiscent of years past, Montana has always attracted visitors from all reaches of the globe and walks of life with one thing in common: they come for a glimpse and stay for a lifetime. Reflective of the melting pot that defines this great nation, modern Montanans, like their ancestral counterparts, have an unbridled passion for the environment, proclivity for small-town community and desire, above all else, to slow down and enjoy a simpler way of life. Alive with the bustling activity 4

Montana Historian

of any modern city, Montana communities are also reflective of their rural roots, honoring what was, while embracing what is to come. With an unswerving focus on preserving character, enhancing community and integrating nature, Montana business owners move history forward, seamlessly merging Montana’s past with its future in perpetuity. American Historian Howard Zinn once wrote, “The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” Montanans are, if anything, a defiant bunch. Choosing clean air and kinship over metropolitan industry and opportunity, we make our concessions, but we are among the lucky few that, by way of intention or chance, not only live as we think, but as we know we should. We always have and, as the sage old adage promises: history is destined to repeat itself. - Jessica Bayramian Byerly, Editor

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Montana Historian

The Bozeman Clinic Serving Patients in the Gallatin Valley Since 1930

Some of the most important people in a town are its physicians, and doctors have been calling Montana home since its earliest days. From working at military outposts to running modern hospitals, medical professionals touch every part of the region’s history. One of the longest continually operated medical providers is the Bozeman Clinic, which has called Bozeman home since the beginning of the 1930s. Dr. Bernard Heetderks started the Heetderks Clinic in Bozeman in 1930 after taking over Dr. Clem Seerley’s local practice. Dr. Heetderks trained in medicine in Chicago before heading off to serve his country in France during World War I. Following the war, he worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad hospital, treating the workers laying the tracks to connect the country. In 1936, Dr. Roland G Scherer joined his brother-in-law at the Heetderks Clinic following his work for the Mayo Clinic. The doctors practiced together for two decades until Dr. Scherer departed in 1955. By then, Dr. Heetderks’ son, John, had finished medical school and was ready to join his father at the clinic. Dr. John had previously served in the Navy before studying at Montana State University and the University of Minnesota, where he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1954. Following his education, Dr. John decided to join his father back in Bozeman. Though it remained a family business, they renamed the clinic The Bozeman Clinic, cementing its connection with the town. Soon thereafter in 1957, another son, Dr. Albert De Heetderks – known as Dr. De – united with his family at the clinic. Dr. De also studied at Montana State and the University of Minnesota. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science and M.D. from Stanford University in 1954. The father and two sons continued to practice together, often dressing in a suit and tie to make house calls or deliver babies in the middle of the night. In fact, Dr. Heetderks mixed many of his own medicines for patients


Montana Historian

using meticulous notes he kept in a small notebook. Such was a doctor’s life on the frontier. The family continued to practice together until 1969, when the eldest Dr. Heetderks passed away at age 74. His sons continued to grow and modernize the practice through the years, offering a broad range of medical care and surgical procedures. Writing about the Clinic in the 1980s, the doctors noted that The Bozeman Clinic “offered quality diagnostic and treatment facilities including a clinical laboratory, with registered laboratory personnel; a radiology department with hospital grade diagnostic x-ray equipment including [an] image intensifier under the direction of registered x-ray technicians.” Dr. De retired in 1987 and left the clinic in the hands of his brother. Dr. John continued the practice until 1995, by which time the number of physicians had grown and they were ready to take the reins. Dr. Gabor Benda joined the clinic in 1989 and was joined by Drs. David McLaughlin, Larry Sonnenberg and Leonard Ramsey before Dr. John retired. Today, the clinic has expanded to seven physicians specializing in the full spectrum of medical care for the whole family. The clinic has added Drs. Heather Wheeler, Steven Roberts and Christine Mitchell to provide a unique breadth of individualized care under the banner of a single practice. The Bozeman Clinic offers everything from pregnancy care to minor surgical procedures, continuing the clinic’s long tradition of offering compassionate care to the Bozeman community.

History in the Making bozeman yellowstone international airport Images courtesy of Gallatin Pioneer Museum

Frontier Inaugural flight Sept 30th, 1967

From the tiny Seifert Airport off of Belgrade’s Jackrabbit Lane in 1928 to the six-runway Belgrade Airport one half-mile north of Belgrade in 1929 to the Gallatin Field Airport in 1942, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport has grown and flourished since its inception thanks to pioneering visionaries in local aviation, federal support and the commitment of the Gallatin Valley community. In 1947, Northwest Airlines (Northwest) began its first regular commercial service to Bozeman and the rest, as they say, is history. A history, as it happens, worth exploration. The history of American aviation begins with the Wright brothers’ famous Kitty Hawk flight in 1903. The history of aviation in the Gallatin Valley began just over two decades later with the planning and building of the Seifert Airport. Relocated and renamed only a year later due to its proximity to high-tension wires, the then Belgrade Airport served the community’s basic needs until commercial aviation and the desire for connectivity for Gallatin County took flight in the 1940s. After much discussion and planning, the Bozeman Airport Commission –


Montana Historian

comprised of Dean Chaffin, Ernest Anderson, Gardner (Pete) Waite, Eric Therkelsen and Frank Hoey – applied for and was allotted $47,000 in federal funds to support the realization of the County’s first commercial airport. The 1940s passed with a flurry of expansion and construction eventuating in the completion of thousands of feet of paved and turf runways, taxiways, and a Quonset hut that would temporarily serve as the depot for Northwest. The following several decades saw further growth to Gallatin Field Airport. The Fred Willson-designed administration building was completed in 1951 and Northwest further expanded regular service during the following decade. Improvements and additions during the 1960s supported increased traffic, facilitated jet service and accommodated new carriers. The 1970s solidified Gallatin Field’s presence and ensured its future growth: following the passage of legislation authorizing airport authorities in Montana, Gallatin Field secured its Authority status in November of 1972. A new terminal

Nelson Story III

Original terminal picture prior to 1954

Wayne Seifert, John Adams, Albert Seifert, mechanic (L-R) 1929

building was constructed and facilities were further improved and expanded through the sale of $2.4 million in revenue bonds in 1976. The project would cost an additional $2 million before it was completed, but resulted in an FAA regional award for environmental design in 1978. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Director M.M. Martin remarked, “The building is highly functional and an outstanding example of the use of design, art, and architecture to enhance the compatibility of airport structures with their surrounding environment.� The 1980s and 90s garnered further growth for Gallatin Field, including improvements to runways, taxiways, aprons and access roads; construction of a fire station; terminal and parking lot expansions; and enhancement of equipment and facilities. Further increases in carriers, regular service options and the Gallatin Valley population throughout the 80s and 90s also increased traffic in and out of the terminal. In 1986, enplanements surpassed 100,000 for the first time; by 1997, they had more than doubled.

In 1997, Gallatin Field set a new precedent as the first northwest airport in over 30 years to utilize local funds to build an air traffic control tower. Construction on the tower was completed in 1999. In tandem with population growth and development throughout the Valley, the dawn of a new century ushered in exponential expansion for Gallatin Field, both in terms of facilities and services. Over $32.5 million in improvements were completed between 2000 and 2007 and, with regular Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, Horizon, Northwest and United service, passenger enplanements continued to skyrocket. The commercial airline industry at large also saw dramatic change with the Boeing 727 supplanted as the aircraft of choice by the Airbus A319 and 320, as well as 50- and 70-seat regional jets. Finally, in 2011, Gallatin Field experienced its biggest transformation yet: The Gallatin Airport Authority Board approved the name change to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport at Gallatin Field.



Fred Willson terminal

New terminal


Montana Historian

has become synonymous. Who would have For over 73 years, the Airport’s tireless guessed, when the Bozeman Daily Chronicle board members and directors have fought to secure Gallatin Valley’s place on the map, reported on April 30, 1933 that,“Dirt is moving at the county fairgrounds and before all while unswervingly ensuring passenger safety and satisfaction within a constantly long Bozeman will have an airplane landing changing and challenging industry. The 118th field,” that Bozeman would, indeed, secure that field and a good deal more. From its busiest passenger airport in the nation in 2015, Bozeman Yellowstone International meager inception as an aviation field named after sole area pioneer flyer Wayne Seifert Airport’s future is, once again, as bright as the minds of the dedicated visionaries to designation as a “small hub” airport by the FAA, Bozeman Yellowstone International at the airport’s helm. This past year has seen the opening of the I-90 East Belgrade Airport is as integral to southwest Montana as the very fabric of its landscape, the Interchange, regular new service to some of residents that call it home and the visitors the nation’s top destinations, terminal and facility expansions and passenger numbers in who, inevitably, stay for a lifetime. excess of one million. As Bozeman, Big Sky Special thanks to Ted Mathis for providing and Paradise Valley continue to draw visitors his invaluable assistance, encyclopedic airport and transplants alike, the Airport is sure to knowledge and comprehensive scrapbooks. safeguard international access and regional connectivity with the state-of-the-art facilities DOG_MThistorianAd_3.75x4_PR.pdf 1 the 7/28/15 AM Sources: and impeccable service for which facility 9:22Other

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Two Top Yellowstone Winter Tours

The Ride of a Lifetime

With bubbling geysers, active wildlife and unmatched scenery, Yellowstone Park is one of the most beautiful areas in the lower 48—and the best way to experience it all is riding on a snowmobile. That’s exactly what Two Top Yellowstone Winter Tours has been facilitating for nearly 50 years. Since 1966, they’ve been helping guests enjoy the wonder and beauty of America’s first national park in the most intimate way possible. Howard McCray established Two Top Snowmobile Rentals in 1969, when he decided to supplement the slow season at Richardson’s Motel – an establishment he owned and operated from 1962 until 1986 – by renting out a few sleds: three, to be exact. But his supplemental income proved anything but.“I lost my shirt,” remarked Howard in a 1986 interview with The West Yellowstone News,“but I had to take a chance because I was already losing my shirt in the dealership business.” One of the earliest dealers in West, Howard came to the unfortunate realization that those who came to test-drive most often merely borrowed and returned. “I started the rentals in self defense,” quipped Howard. The move proved advantageous and his fleet of three grew to 20 by the early 1970s. In 1979, the fleet had grown to 40 and Howard’s son David joined the business. “My father bought his first snowmobile in ‘64 and really got into the rental business by ‘69,” says David, who, along with his brother Randy, assumed ownership of Two Top from his father in 1986. “It was a real mom-and-pop operation. And by 1980, we’d become a full-fledged rental company. We’ve grown every single year since.” That continuous growth has positioned Two Top as the single largest snowmobile company in West.


Montana Historian

Through the years, the company rode the wave of changes enacted by the Park Service, including restrictions on guides, permits and allowable types of snowmobiles. Thankfully, by working to find compromises with the Park, things have turned out for the best: with the award of a ten-year contract this spring by the Park Service, Two Top will be able to take up to 100 snowmobiles into the Park on any given day by the 2015-16 season. “It’s a very exciting time to visit Yellowstone in the winter” David remarks. Whether an expert or a beginner, every guest can ride a clean-burning, Park-compliant four-stroke snowmobile over well-marked, groomed trails beginning right out the front door. With hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, there’s almost no limit to what guests could experience.“We still rent snowmobiles for self-guided tours on the Gallatin and Targhee National Forests, but all Yellowstone National Park winter tours are guided, and our staff are all in West Yellowstone because they love it,” says David.“The knowledge they have is really amazing.” “We have clients that come out every season. They’ll bring their kids and, years later, their kids will come with families of their own,” says David with a smile.“It’s real fun to see the same familiar faces year after year.” A family business firmly and happily entrenched in family, David and the staff at Two Top pride themselves on customized care.“Clients aren’t just customers here,” David explains.“They’re guests in a unique corner of the world, at an incredible time of the year, invited to share in a very special, once-in-a-lifetime experience.” To schedule an unparalleled experience, check out



Sapphire Gallery Mining Montana Sapphires Since 1992

Our story begins in 1987 on Gem Mountain in Philipsburg, Montana,

Two and a half busy years later, Shirley and Dale lit out on their own. Dale

when Dale Siegford began digging for Montana sapphires. While working

had Montana sapphires by the boxfuls and, with his heat-treating expertise

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sapphires to high temperatures, teaching himself the art of heat treatment.

it was the making of a great team! In January of 1992, they embarked on

In order to intensify the colors of Montana sapphires, Dale experimented,

their new prospect: the wholesale beginning of Sapphire Gallery, Inc., in

enhancing the elements already present in the sapphires to showcase their

Philipsburg. By summer, Dale had purchased an empty building, once the

best colors and learning how to turn pale mined stones into brilliant pink

oldest family-owned grocery store in Montana. Working in the unheated

and blue sapphires.

building, their experienced staff sold and created sapphire jewelry from a start-up collection of only 60 pieces. Meanwhile, Shirley, Dale, family and

In 1988, Shirley – a ranch wife, mother of three and former special

friends completely renovated the premises, which became the Sapphire

education teacher – began selling Montana jewelry at the Gem Mountain

Gallery home in a grand opening on December 12, 1992.

Shop. Her instincts for customer service were heightened by her passion for sapphire jewelry and assisting customers in their search for the perfect

Since then, the Sapphire Gallery has built and maintained a worldwide

blue sapphire ring, pink sapphire earrings or stunning sapphire necklace.

collection of over 3,000 pieces of sapphire and ruby jewelry. With more

Shirley's talents soon became evident, and she was quickly promoted to

than 20 years in the Montana jewelry business, the Gallery has sold over

shop and pond manager in 1989.

25,000 pieces of custom and ready-made sapphire jewelry, from pink sapphire earrings to yellow sapphire necklaces.

Shirley had heard of Dale's heat-treating expertise on Montana sapphires – that his blue sapphire treatment was good, but his work with fancy

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Montana Historian



Montana Historical Society celebrating 150th anniversary By Tom Cook, Montana Historical Society

During turbulent times in the nation 150 years ago, the Civil War was grinding to an end outside Appomattox; Native Americans and settlers were battling over land in the West; and, on February 2, 1865, the Montana Historical Society (MHS) was created by one of the Montana Territorial Legislature’s first acts. As it celebrates its 150th anniversary, MHS – one of the oldest such institutions in the West – has become Montana history itself.

While most historical societies in the West were formed only after the onset of nostalgia for pioneer days, Montanans realized from the start that history matters. The first Montana Territorial Legislature saw bitter divisions among the lawmakers, who had differing Civil War feelings and loyalties. But they agreed wholeheartedly on one thing, they voted to establish the Montana Historical Society. It was one of the few bills they passed.

In 1865, the Dance and Stewart Store in Virginia City, Montana Territory, was filled with the tools and provisions that prospectors needed to search for gold along Alder Gulch. One night, a group of tough men seeking fortune far from home, where gold and wealth consumed the focus of their daily lives, gathered to talk about the new land they had come to know. Gold and cattle baron Granville Stuart, his brother James and Wilbur Fisk Sanders – later to become one of Montana’s first U.S. senators – were among the early Montana pioneers who were in the store that night to talk about a promotional history Granville Stuart had written,“Montana As It Is.” As the men shared their experiences, they realized that future generations would want to know their stories and came to the conclusion that the history of Montana deserved to be saved and told by those who knew it best. That meeting was the beginning of what became known as the Montana Wilbur Fisk Sanders one of the founders of the Montana Historical Society.

Later, acting Territorial Governor James Tufts summed up the sentiments of early Montanans: “The importance of this institution (MHS) to the territory is incalculable. Properly conducted it may be made an epitome of the territory itself, and henceforward at all times illustrate its progress and development more thoroughly than could be done by any of the ordinary researches of visitors, strangers, and savants.”

Historical Society


Montana Historian

To this day, MHS continues to be the vehicle for Montanans to tell the real Montana story. That story is told in many ways, from the clash of cultures that saw Native Americans lose a way of life and fight to keep their heritage and stories alive, to the many new ways that people have found to live in this special land.

The Montana Historical Society is celebrating its 150th anniversary

Montana’s Museum at MHS features 13,000 years of known history on this land. The MHS Research Center has one of the finest archives in the West. The MHS press has published dozens of books on history topics like the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Calamity Jane, Native American

The Montana Historical Society tells the stories of all of the people who have called this great land home

oral history, mining, ranching, logging and, of course, Charlie Russell and the West. MHS’s nationally acclaimed quarterly magazine,“Montana The Magazine of Western History,” has been published since 1951 and features articles by the best historians in the West sharing ever changing perspectives on people and events. MHS’s State Historic Preservation Office helps preserve historic places like mining sites, Native American places like Sweet Grass Hills, and buildings where history was made.

The history of MHS is about the past, the present and the future. It is a part of the history of Montana. It is about all of us. Granville Stuart and those who gathered with him at the Dance and Stewart store 150 years ago couldn’t have imagined what MHS would become. Just as we can’t imagine what it will become in another 150 years. What we share with them is the certain knowledge that Montana is a story that always will be worth telling.

The Montana Historical Society was born in historic Virginia City

The Montana Historical Society was in the basement of the State Capitol in Helena before it moved into its current building just east of the Capitol in the 1950s



Adventure in the Backcountry Jerry Johnson knows West Yellowstone hospitality. A second generation Montanan, the former mayor and current city commissioner grew up working with his parents, who have owned and operated motels in West Yellowstone for the past 65 years. Now, through Backcountry Adventure, he shares the majestic beauty and vast grandeur that is West Yellowstone with locals and worldwide visitors alike. Alongside his wife, Jacquelyn, their two children, Keith and Kendra, and a staff with experience in the West Yellowstone area ranging from 31 to 62 years, Johnson provides custom snowcoach, snowmobile, snowshoe and cross country ski excursions, as well as Old Faithful tours and full clothing and accommodation packages. Featuring environmentally friendly snowmobile models from top manufacturers, Backcounty Adventure snowmobile rentals are completely customizable to include a guide, complete clothing package, accommodations packages, and even specific snowmobile models. And with a free tank of gas for each daily rental, the West Yellowstone world is your playground.

A great way to experience Yellowstone, snowmobile tours of the Park and surrounding area provide a unique view of the unparalleled landscape and abundant wildlife. Snowmobile tour stops in Yellowstone National Park can include Madison Junction, Fountain Paint Pot, Midway Geyser Basin and Biscuit Basin. In addition, Backcountry Adventure provides three interpretive snowmobile trips to Old Faithful – the world’s most concentrated area of geothermal features – and one trip to the Yellowstone Grand Canyon each day. Guided snowmobile trips in the Gallatin National Forest just outside of Yellowstone Park, an area offering over 200 miles of groomed trails with spectacular views and deep powder, are also regularly available throughout the season. Another great option for exploring the Park in absolute comfort and security is a snowcoach tour. Family- and group-friendly, Ford E350 conversion van snowcoach tours are highly affordable ad provide visitors with the freedom to stop whenever they want for photo opportunities. In addition to Old Faithful and Canyon Park tours, Backcountry Adventure also offers private snowcoach expeditions. Join the Johnson family and the highly experienced, personable and knowledgeable staff of Backcountry Adventure to create the adventure of a lifetime. Located at 224 N. Electric Street in West Yellowstone, Montana, Backcountry Adventure can be reached by calling 406.646.9317. For reservations, check out the convenient rental calculator and call 800.924.7669 or email reservations@backcountry-adventures. com. For more information, visit or check them out on Facebook @ backcountryadventures.


Montana Historian



Voracious a profile of paleontologist jack horner By Jessica Bayramian Byerly

World-renowned paleontologist Jack Horner is an unapologetic dino addict. When he’s not studying several screens in his decidedly unassuming corner of the Museum of the Rockies (MOR) labyrinthine offices, he’s out digging in the dirt; meeting with equally passionate students and colleagues; thinking, breathing and sleeping dinosaurs. His unquenchable curiosity and enthusiasm for discovery are tangible . . . and intoxicating. When asked what he would be if he wasn’t a paleontologist, he replies simply, “A paleontologist.” And so it is. Born and raised in Shelby, Montana, Horner found his first dinosaur bone at age eight on his father’s childhood ranchland – it now rests on a shelf just above his head in his office – and uncovered his first skeleton at age 13, on a self–determined excavation site in Cut Bank, MT.“I’d researched a lot about dinosaurs by then,” smiles Horner,“and my mom agreed to take me out there and let me dig around.”

Despite a promising start, Horner hasn’t had the easiest road to walk to realize his dreams. He’s grappled with severe dyslexia his whole life, earning less-than-stellar high school and college transcripts.“I’ve never really been able to read,” he shamelessly admits.“It’s not a disability,” Horner argues.“As soon as you label it as such, you change a child’s life and sense of self. Dyslexic people just do things differently, they reason differently, spatially. Sometimes I think people spend a bit too much time reading, anyway, and not enough time thinking.” And Horner is nothing, if not a thinker, a tinkerer of ideas and a challenger of preconceptions. Despite an unfinished University of Montana degree, he has redefined and energized the field of paleontology the world over.“If I do it first, I don’t have to read anything,” laughs Horner. His career-spanning research into the growth and social behavior of dinosaurs, related discoveries over the years and devil-may-care attitude challenging assumptions and unswervingly seeking the truth has garnered Horner an unparalleled reputation within the field and without.

Pictured here: Jack Horner Curator of Paleontology at Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, Mont. Opposite Page, top: Jack Horner provides scale for Tyrannosaurus rex fossils at excavation site near the Fort Peck Reservoir, Fort Peck, Mont., June 1990. Named for its discoverer, Kathy Wankel, the Wankel T.rex is estimated to have weighed six to seven tons. Opposite Page, bottom: Dig site, Livingston, Mont. Photos courtesy Museum of the Rockies


Montana Historian

Amongst other impressive accolades over the years, Horner has acted as scientific advisor for the Jurassic Park franchise since it began with the release of Jurassic Park in 1993. An obvious choice considering his likeness to Michael Crichton’s Dr. Grant, Horner and director Steven Spielberg set out to create an exciting, enjoyable film featuring groundbreaking visual effects that reflected as much “true science” as was known at the time. Though a few arguments may have ensued throughout the following creative years, that recipe for success has shaped every film in the franchise since. However, as Horner laughingly points out, “We’ve learned a lot since 1993.” So, each film since has demanded a conscious effort to balance franchise consistency with what is now known. Jurassic World, much like its predecessors, will break new ground in its own right. Boasting a spectacular genetically modified dinosaur and “lots of escaping and eating people,” Jurassic World promises a bloody rollicking good time. Interestingly, the films most profound impact may well be on the very world of paleontological endeavor upon which it’s based: How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn't Have to Be Forever, Horner’s 2009 scientific companion to the film, explores the plausibility of genetically engineering a dinosaur.“If we can do it, there will be incredible implications in the medical field,” explains Horner. And, the “chickenosaurus” or dino chicken project has also had an unexpected and amazing impact on kids. “It’s really remarkable,” says Horner,“they’re actually interested in, and excited about, developmental biology and genetics.” The Jurassic franchise has also had a positive impact on higher educational pursuits. Horner points out that prior to Jurassic Park, he had three to four students at Montana State University (MSU). Since the film, he’s consistently had numbers near 20 and nearly half of them, remarkably, are female. As an added benefit, Horner’s premier status has helped to secure support for substantial collections at MOR – where Horner is Curator of Paleontology – which

now boasts the largest T. rex collection in the world. MOR also has the largest triceratops collection, among others, which is just how Horner likes it.“I need large numbers of the same dino to get into intensive research,” explains Horner. His research and that of his students continues his legacy of challenging, questioning and rocking the proverbial boat. As Horner advises his students and informs his research, sometimes finding the truth is really just about making it the priority.“While the first dinosaur eggs were discovered in the late 1800s and tons were found by the 1980s, no one had found an embryo because no one was willing to break open an egg, they were too precious. So, I hit one with a hammer and discovered the first embryo,” laughs Horner.“The way I figure it, glue is cheap.” With a lifetime of discovery and adventure behind him, what lies ahead for Horner? He’s working with some colleagues on the possibility of a dyslexic college. A lucky handful of MSU students enjoy his committed, passionate advice and support. Perhaps there will be another film – the Jurassic franchise is slated to include five. But, for the voracious 68-yearold paragon of all things dinosaur, there’s mostly digging, a whole lot of digging in the dirt.



Montana’s Darkest Place forgotten stories of the montana state prison at deer lodge By Ellen Baumler and J.M. Cooper

Prisoners occupied the 1912 cell house until 1979. J. M. Cooper photograph.


Montana Historian

Unsavory characters and criminals lured west by the gold rush prompted the need for a federal penitentiary in Montana Territory. Established at Deer Lodge in 1870, the prison passed to the new state of Montana in 1889, but there were no funds to operate the institution. Private enterprise solved the problem when Frank Conley and Thomas McTague contracted with the state as prison administrators. The institution’s turbulent and uneven past includes the controversial 30-year regime of Warden Frank Conley, who was eventually accused – and acquitted – of amassing considerable wealth at the state’s expense. His main achievement, amidst much criticism, was putting prisoners to work. In Frank Conley was the prison’s controversial warden from 1889 to his 1893, inmates built the massive wall removal in 1921. MHS 941-566. that still surrounds the complex. That, and a cellblock completed in 1898, brought Montana’s prison national acclaim. However, aside from the prison labor that built state buildings and miles of roads, Conley’s achievements were mostly superficial. The prison was an awful place, filled with contradictions. By 1900, approximately 370 inmates lived inside the wall, while another 130 lived outside at various worksites. Among them were the warden’s specially privileged “trusties.” Trustie Thomas O’Brien had served Thomas O’Brien made a spectacular escape on the half of his fivewarden’s prize racehorse in 1902. Old Montana Prison Museum, MSP 949. year sentence for grand larceny when he staged a spectacular getaway in 1902. Like some trusties, O’Brien lived inside but worked outside the wall as the stable boss of the prison’s large barn. One of his duties was exercising Conley’s prize racehorse. O’Brien claimed that he had veterinary training and thus obtained opium for medicinal purposes. He fed it to the vicious bloodhounds the warden kept to unleash on escapees. With the dogs sleeping soundly, O’Brien saddled up the racehorse and told the guards that he was on an errand for the warden. Once out on the road, he took off at top speed. He left a note promising to return. During his 18 days of freedom, the Montana Standard published a long treatise he had written proclaiming his innocence. O’Brien then turned himself in. Instead of punishment, O’Brien’s honesty earned him a pardon in 1903.

Conley allowed his prison laborers to work on copper king W. A. Clark’s ranch and in his mines. In exchange, Clark endowed the prison library and band. In 1919, Clark’s son funded construction of the W.A. Clark Theater, the nation’s first theater built inside a prison. The theater opened in 1920 with the traveling cast of the Broadway musical My Sunshine Lady. Edward Tanquary earned the high honor of giving roses to the leading lady. It was a highly emotional moment as Tanquary thanked her on behalf of all the inmates. He had served six years Edward Tanquary’s tragic story ended when he took his of a life sentence for the murder own life in 1922. MHS PAc 85-91.4618. of a man who threatened his wife. Upon entering Deer Lodge, Tanquary asked the warden to save his new suit of clothes for when the court granted him a new trial. That time never came and, in 1922, Tanquary took his own life. Tragic stories fill the prison record. Miner Thomas Riley, for example, lost a leg in Butte’s infamous 1895 warehouse explosion that killed 59 people. Riley blamed wealthy Patrick Largey for the loss of his leg. Largey held stock in the company responsible for the blast. Riley could no longer work and, after several confrontations, he murdered Largey in 1898. Riley received a life sentence. Largey’s family made sure Riley languished at Deer Lodge long after he was eligible for parole. In 1910, 170 members of his union, Miners Local #1, signed a petition requesting reconsideration of his case. Nothing came of it. The petition, Riley’s own letters pleading for an artificial limb, and correspondence between Governor Joseph Dixon and prison officials are preserved in the archives at the Montana Historical Society. In 1921, Governor Dixon admitted that Riley had served long enough, but politics prevented his acting on Riley’s behalf. And, at this same time, politics demanded that Dixon Thomas Riley lost a leg in Butte’s great remove Conley from office. Conley’s fall in warehouse explosion and later murdered Patrick Largey whom he held responsible. 1921 ended many opportunities Old Montana Prison Museum, MSP 543. for prisoners. Meanwhile, Thomas Riley grew old in prison. In 1937, Governor Roy Ayers met Riley and found no bitterness left in the man after so many years. The governor granted him a full and unconditional pardon. Exwarden Conley, long retired, remembered Riley and took him under his wing. Riley mined an old claim, lived in a boxcar Conley gave him, and died in 1938 after little more than a year of freedom.



The prison’s band, endowed by copper k king W. A. Clark, posed in the yard in 1909. D. J. O’Malley Collection, MHS 950-050.

The prison’s dark past includes women. The frontier west was a melting pot where abandonment, poverty, domestic abuse and poor education sometimes led women to commit crimes. Once incarcerated, women were neglected and forgotten in prisons built for men. Montana’s prison was no exception, housing women within the men’s enclosure. A separate women’s dormitory opened in 1908, but it was still attached to the men’s domain. Necessary separation of sexes prevented women from participating in activities offered to the men.

Bessie Fisher was convicted of second degree murder in 1901. Old Montana Prison Museum, MSP 1185.


Montana Historian

Although few women did time at Deer Lodge, their stories are dramatic. In 1901, Butte prostitute Bessie Fisher shot co-worker Cassie “Big Eva” Frye when the much larger woman lunged at her with a knife. Bessie, a morphine addict, threw herself on the floor and wept during her sensational trial. The all-male jury found Bessie guilty and she got 20 years even though the coroner’s finding was self-defense. She served half her sentence before she was paroled. Women like Bessie, who was African American, faced all-male courtrooms where prejudice, gender, race and lifestyle worked against them. In 1939, legislation finally changed the definition of “jury” from “a body of men” to “a body of persons,” obligating women to serve equally with men. Outward improvements in the 1930s contrasted sharply with deplorable living conditions inside. Squalid cells, infested mattresses and outdated cellblocks with no plumbing bred disease. Full-time medical staff, educational opportunities and rehabilitative services were non-existent.

A 1964 aerial view of the Montana State Prison shows the orientation of prison buildings: W.A. Clark Theatre at the back; 1912 cell house, front left; and the women’s prison in the smaller enclosed wall at right. Montana Highway Department photograph, MHS 950-019.

A dangerous system of powerful con bosses ran the prison industries that benefited few inmates. Women inmates lived in total isolation. Things came to a head in 1959 with the notoriously violent riot that brought in the National Guard and garnered international publicity. Four months later, earthquakes claimed the appalling 1896 cellblock. Officials converted the women’s prison to harsh maximum-security cells to better control the worst inmates. For the first time, the women moved outside the men’s domain. And still, there was one obscene remnant The 1908 women’s prison was converted to maximum security in 1959. J. M. Cooper photograph. of the territorial penitentiary. Down a series of rusted metal stairs was a succession of the Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation. Listed in the much–feared isolation cells where an unruly National Register of Historic Places, the historic complex offers prisoner died on Halloween in 1966. He either overheated from the steam pipes that ran along the cell wall or took a fatal overdose visitors a compelling experience. Most feel the powerful emotions that a century of indelible impressions have left in its walls. of drugs he had hidden in a body cavity. Authorities still disagree on the cause of death. Information and photographs for this article were excerpted from Ellen Baumler and J.M. Cooper, Dark Spaces: In 1972, Clark’s theater, the inmates’ only remaining privilege, fell Montana’s Historic Penitentiary at Deer Lodge (University victim to arson. Finally, in 1979, inmates were moved to a new of New Mexico Press, 2008). facility. The antiquated prison took on a new dimension under



White touring cars took over park transportation from horse-drawn stagecoaches in Yellowstone in 1917. Canyon Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, ca. 1920. Courtesy National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park.


Montana Historian

National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park

100 Years of Stewardship By Michael Fox, Curator of History, Museum of the Rockies

The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its 100th government was not, however, in any position to offer anniversary in 2016, but it celebrates the 144th year the sort of amenities that visitors desired. So, from its since the founding of the world’s first national park. earliest days, Yellowstone hosted independent business Yellowstone operators, who National Park provided lodging, (YNP) was transportation established and supplies under President for tourists. Ulysses S. Grant’s Operating under administration in federal contracts 1872 and operated or concessions, under the U.S. these businesses Department of are known as the Interior for concessioners in 44 years before national parks. As the appearance of visitation grew, so the first dedicated did the need for park ranger. By Automobile campers were known as sagebrushers in the 1910s and 1920s. Yellowstone the visitor services National Park, ca. 1925. Courtesy National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park. 1915, the system that they provided. of national parks consisted of nine parks with three more added the By the 1910s, two railroads served YNP and the idea following year. Prior to creation of the NPS, each of of allowing automobiles into the area was also being these parks was individually managed under the broad discussed. Again, officials and visitors grew concerned administrative umbrella of the Department of Interior. about the Park’s operations, fearing that increased visitorship would overwhelm the capabilities of the Until the NPS’s inception, a seasoned force of U.S. Army keepers of the nation’s parks. Eleven sites had been troops enforced park rules in Yellowstone. Sent to the designated as national parks by 1911, and the broad park in 1886 by Army General Philip Sheridan, troops diversity of the now growing system needed its own assisted the Department of the Interior in preventing dedicated service. In September of that year, Secretary poaching and keeping the peace within the boundaries of the Interior Walter L. Fisher convened the first of the 2.2-million-acre reserve. The units assigned to this Annual National Parks Conference in Yellowstone. duty were usually cavalry troopers who had experience The conference brought together national park with the challenging terrain and unpredictable weather superintendents, as well as representatives of other of the northern Rocky Mountains. The Department of federal departments that oversaw national monuments, Interior, long the home of orphan government programs, battlefields and forest reserves. The discussion welcomed the army’s assistance, as it had no law quickly turned to jurisdiction and the multi-faceted enforcement branch of its own. responsibilities that these various agencies exercised within the parks. Additionally, the U.S. Army had, by These were formative years for YNP and for the this time, grown weary of its job as the Park’s police force idea of what national parks should, and should not, and supported the idea of the Department of the Interior become. Federal officials and visitors alike feared the taking over these duties. commercialization of their parks and carefully monitored the Department of the Interior’s activities. The



The idea of a singular division within the Department of the Interior to oversee national park operations was born at this meeting and another held in 1912. By 1915, Steven Mather, assistant to Secretary Franklin K. Lane, was ready with a plan. Meeting at the University of California at Berkeley, and in the shadow of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition across the bay in San Francisco, Mather presented his idea for the creation of a National Park Service that would operate the nation’s parks and work with concessioners and other business interests to enhance the public’s ability to enjoy them. With the support of both federal officials and the public, the organic act of August 25, 1916 creating the NPS was signed into law, with Mather as its first director.

The 1950s saw a huge upsurge in park visitation. Courtesy National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park.

The agency was quickly vaulted into service and immediately set about enforcing park laws and serving as interpreters of the natural wonders placed under their care. The timing of the transition from U.S. Army to NPS administration was critical in Yellowstone, as automobiles had been allowed into the park for the first time in 1915. By the 1916 season, the underpowered and often unpredictable machines were scaring horses and transporting tourists from one end of the park to the other. A year later, all horse-drawn passenger transportation in the park was switched to motorbuses and touring cars. A revolution in the ways in which visitors toured the park took place in the span of just a few short years.

As the world’s first national park, Yellowstone was, and is, seen as the flagship of the national park system. It was little surprise that Mather’s protégé and assistant director, Horace M. Albright, soon took on the superintendent position in Yellowstone. Under Albright’s administration, YNP tourism flourished. Soldiers returning from the battlefields of Europe were inspired to see the sights of their country and a “See America First” campaign, initiated by railroads hoping to keep tourist dollars in the United States rather than overseas, rapidly picked up momentum. Albright embraced the movement, seeing railroad promoters as partners in bringing new visitors to national parks. In 1929, Albright left Yellowstone to take over Steven Mather’s job as NPS Director.


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By the mid 1920s, the agency had adopted its own uniform. Based on the U.S. Army’s uniform of the 1910s, the outfit consisted of a campaign hat, woolen military blouse and jodhpurs, riding boots and a Sam Browne belt. Park rangers wore their own agency’s badges and divisional insignia as well. Uniforms became a topic of interest in Yellowstone as women began to join the ranks of the park rangers. Albright hired Isabel Bassett in 1920, followed by Marguerite Lindsley and Frieda Nelson in 1925.

Naturalist Marguerite Lindsley leads a tour at Mammoth, Yellowstone National Park, ca. 1925. Courtesy Bill Arnold.

The NPS evolved into the primary interpretive entity in parks like Yellowstone during the 1920s. Rangers did more than just enforce the rules; they led tours of the geological features and taught visitors about the plants and animals that lived in the park. Education and interpretation remain primary NPS responsibilities and the 1930s saw the rising importance of scientific research in the parks as well. The 1930s and early 1940s were a time of declining visitorship in America’s national parks. The national economic depression and the war that followed prevented tourists from reaching areas like Yellowstone.

Once a common sight in Yellowstone, bears approaching vehicles were a danger to both themselves and visitors. In the 1970s, National Park Service scientists spurred the park to discontinue this practice. Courtesy National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park.

Shortages and rationing of everything from gasoline to baking flour discouraged them further. However, the end of World War II marked a great renaissance for tourism nationwide. Just as the doughboys of WWI had flocked to their national parks, returning WWII veterans made the most of a post-war economic boom and took to the highways. Yellowstone tourism surged. The parks themselves, however, were not ready for the onslaught and visitors encountered crumbling roads, poor accommodations and evidence of more than a decade of neglect, as the nation had concentrated its efforts on fighting the Superintendent Horace Albright at the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of Yellowstone National Park, 1922. depression and the war. The NPS recognized Courtesy National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park. their visitors’ needs and inaugurated a 10-year, system-wide program to update and upgrade was a new concept for many Americans – who were again concerned park facilities in 1956. Known as Mission 66, the program built new about the commercialization of the nation’s recreational areas – and the hotels, repaired aging infrastructure and brought YNP into the modern agency moved forward with plans to professionalize its scientific efforts. age of tourism. Space-age architecture was included in Yellowstone’s new Demonstrating its commitment to conserving natural places, while Canyon Village, while elderly structures like the Canyon Hotel inviting the public to enjoy them, the NPS continues to balance these were removed. often-competing missions. The great Yellowstone fires of 1988 directed national attention to the Service’s conservation strategies and, though As Mission 66 concluded in 1966, the NPS again sought new directions initially seen as catastrophic, fire is now recognized as a natural part of as the protectors and promoters of the nation’s parks. Conservation park resource management. Automobiles lined up for touring the park next to Liberty Cap, Mammoth, Yellowstone National Park, ca. 1925. Courtesy National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park.

Today, the NPS continues to welcome visitors to Yellowstone from every nation on earth. Record-breaking visitation numbers are almost routine as more than three million people pass through the park every year. Still, the NPS retains vestiges of its early days in the park. From the WWI era campaign hats to the rangers’ knowledge of geology, plants and animals, the NPS can be proud of the 100 years of professional management that they continue to bring to the public in Yellowstone.




Montana Historian



Heath Childree and Toby Zangenberg are proud to announce their recent partnership to provide fully customizable home automation technologies to clientele in Big Sky, the greater Gallatin Valley and throughout the country. With 16 and 23 years of industry experience respectively, Zangenberg and Childree are veterans at designing innovative lighting, audio/visual, utilities and environmental automation systems reflective as much of the home as the homeowner. With each new project completed, Ambiance further solidifies itself as the premier provider of commercial and residential consulting, lighting design and automation systems in Big Sky and beyond, an accolade hard earned through years of personalized service, coordination and collaboration with community partners.

Childree. Taking the architect’s vision into account, Zangenberg, Childree and their team consult with their clients throughout the planning and building process, facilitating communication between craftsmen and coordinating individual projects.“We optimize both indoor and outdoor spaces, particularly focusing on the architecture of the living spaces to harmonize the structural design and artistic elements while creating points of aesthetic interest,” says Zangenberg.“Bringing life to the home through automation,” the team works closely with each project’s architect, bringing each architectural canvas to life through synergistically integrated systems supporting access, security, service, expansion, and the ultimate ease of use.

Artists at heart, the pair treat each new build as their muse, each new client the palette and the final architectural plans a canvas upon which they realize the life and years soon to be lived therein. And, with the sprint at which technology continues to advance in home automation, these works of art are only becoming more refined, increasingly elegant in their comprehensive attention to the minutia of life and lifestyle.

But the technological advances are only as valuable as the minds and hands employing them, an arena in which Ambiance, once again, finds itself center stage. In fact, part of Childree and Zangenberg’s mutual love for this work comes from the constantly changing, always improving range of possibilities and continued need for education, adaptation and creativity.“I always find something that I’m not looking for,” jokes Zangenberg as he points to some of the new styles and innovations in one of many bible-sized catalogues he consults on a regular basis.“The technology is always evolving and the needs and scenarios ever-changing. It’s a surprisingly exciting field of work.”

Home automation is an area of exponential technological growth and evolution. Whether the client has a new construction, an older home with conventional switching, or an outdated system, Ambiance can design a system to efficiently and effectively automate any given circumstance.“We call it the The Art of Discovery,” remarks

Each project involves equal parts problem solving, innovation and application, elements Ambiance includes in every one of its detailed electrical and low-voltage design plans. Providing layers of information, Ambiance’s plans are both exhaustive in detail and easily readable, with each layer of information cleanly illustrated and labeled.

Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, Casey Bennet, Project Manager

"Communication is essential to keep projects running smoothly, convey the design, and ensure our clients’ expectations are realized throughout the project. Ambiance has allowed this communication and vision to meld seamlessly into each of our projects." - Jamie Daugaard Principal Architect AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Awarded “Top Mountain Architects for 2015"

But it’s not just about the bigger picture; it’s also about the people and partnerships. Childree specializes in integrating with architects, general contractors, and trades, working within a budget and coordinating all services and providers to create a cohesive plan. Developing the plan is only the beginning for Childree, however, who prides himself on his commitment to the client.“We really become a part of the family,” Childree states with a smile. A go between dedicated to his clients’ vision, Childree wraps technology around lifestyles, coordinating services, attending meetings, streamlining the construction process and representing Ambiance clients from the drawing board through project completion.“We ask the questions before the answers are needed, exploring the “what ifs” and seeking solutions outside the standard box.” Since Zangenberg first opened Ambiance in 2003 (then Ambiance Lighting), he has led the local industry in professional quality lighting design; his partnership with Childree merely fortifies his mastery in the field and vice versa.“I love working in this field, with these clients and these amazing structures,” remarks Zangenberg.“Each house really has its own character, special features, unique spaces. I get to highlight those nuances and accent those features, illuminating the shadows and bringing the home to life.”

Biggerstaff Construction

When Bob Biggerstaff built his first custom home in Big Sky over 30 years ago, he considered lifestyle – the look and feel of a home, the views and light, the way space accommodates a family and their interests – a key design component. Today, Bob’s son, Jerad, runs the family company and is equally committed to his father’s values. The father and son team enjoy the outdoors and, when they’re not ensconced in the family business, they may be found with their families trout fishing in a pond or stream, making some turns together on the ski hill or golfing with friends. Realizing that their clients choose Big Sky for the same reasons they do, their mission is to build a home that is a true reflection of a client’s way of life. Biggerstaff Construction specializes in custom and single-family homes and takes pride in the quality of their product and developing client relationships. The company is small; thus, projects are closely managed and costs kept aligned with the client’s budget. When constraints surface, the Biggerstaff team steps in quickly.“Our team excels at coming up with alternate solutions for finishes that give the same impression or feel that a client wants,” Jerad says, noting that excavation costs can also quickly derail a budget. Dealing with water, clay and a sloping landscape can be expensive and a good soils engineer is a requirement for building in Big Sky’s mountainous terrain.


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Jerad has developed an appreciation for all aspects of running the family business. Having grown up wearing a tool belt, he’s worked in the business from excavation to finished product, filling in wherever his dad needed help. After earning a degree in business management and marketing at MSU, he stepped in to run the company when his father semi-retired. Biggerstaff has designed houses and commercial buildings throughout Big Sky, including the Arrowhead, Hidden Village and Yellowstone Condominiums. With the shifting economy, the company has seen an increase in remodeling projects.“People who have postponed building their dream home are remodeling existing spaces,” Jerad says. In addition, with the growing movement toward energy efficiency, the company is building more Energy Star certified homes. Biggerstaff Construction has also expanded into the Bozeman area where the construction industry has experienced a speedier recovery; however, they have no plans to leave Big Sky.“Our family has deep roots in the Big Sky community,” remarks Jerad, “and we’re here for the long haul.”



Fort Parker The First Crow Agency • 1869-1875

The quiet, grass-covered field resting alongside Interstate 90, 11 miles east Back in Washington, General Erskine M. Camp was dispatched as the of Livingston, Montana, belies a tumultuous history of disruption and first agent at Fort Parker. He travelled by steamboat on the Missouri, displacement of the Apsaàlooke (Crow) Nation. Here, in this pristine picking up supplies along the way. Low water waylaid the journey, landscape, from 1868 to 1875, misguided government policy, corrupt however, and Bozeman businessman Leander Black was appointed Indian agents and temporary agent while he constructed greedy local profiteers the agency buildings out of local collided, resulting in a cottonwood. The buildings included cultural paradigm shift a warehouse, mess hall, quarters for for an entire people. agent and employees, stable, corral The culmination of and two corner bastions holding these historical forces 12-pound howitzers. would play out just six years later, at the BISON HUNTING TO edge of the Crow FARMING Fort Parker, the first Crow Agency, Photo by William Henry Jackson, 1871 reservation, with the The primary purpose of Fort Parker Battle of Little Big Horn, whose story is a cornerstone of our national and other Indian agencies across the plains was to transition these mythology. A closer view of the history leading up to the infamous battle, migratory buffalo hunters to farmers. As soon as he arrived, Agent however, reveals an entirely different perspective of the forces – both Camp immediately started cultivating the soil and offering incentives native and non-native – that met on that fateful day. to any Indians willing to farm. The crops struggled the first years with


There was unrest on the plains. The Lakota wanted all encroaching white men off of their territory. An enterprising John Bozeman had been leading settlers along an old Indian route to the new town of Bozeman in Montana Territory. The route, however, took the settlers directly through Sioux territory and the Lakota were not pleased. Attacks along the trail brought out the Indian Commissioners to settle them on land reserved for them alone. The resulting treaty with the Crow provided for an agency building with a warehouse and quarters for an agent, miller, carpenter, engineer, farmer and teacher who would receive and distribute the treaty goods promised them, as well as help transition the Indians from buffalo hunting to farming. The agency came to be called Fort Parker after Ely S. Parker, the first Native American Commissioner of Indian Affairs.


Alfred Sully, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Montana Territory, chose the site of the Agency on September 21, 1869. He roamed a section of the Yellowstone Valley with a contingent of soldiers from nearby Fort Ellis and a group of Crow men who had stayed back from the annual hunt. Sully saw great potential for farming and stock raising in the site chosen along Mission Creek where it emptied into the Yellowstone River.


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unexpected freezes and grasshoppers. Superintendent Sully contracted with Bozeman’s Charles Hoffman to build 20 double adobe houses for any Indians willing to Farm. Wolf Bow set his family up in one and took up the plow. With unexpected weather changes and little support from the government, who neglected treaty promises of supplies and equipment, farming continued to be a challenge at the agency.


Ulysses S. Grant began his term as President of the United States the same year Fort Parker was built. His administration established a new Indian policy of assimilation, replacing the old annihilation policies of Andrew Jackson. With rampant corruption running through Indian agent administrations across the Fellowes D. Pease board, Grant looked to the churches and the missions to provide support in finding good men for the Indian service. Agents, who had formerly been found in the ranks of the military, were now appointed civilians recommended by their church affiliations. So, in 1871, Fellows D. Pease, a former trader and friend of the Crows, replaced General Erskine Camp as agent. Pease stepped into office with every intention of ensuring that the government fulfill its promises to the Indians.

...misguided government policy, corrupt Indian agents and greedy local profiteers collided, resulting in a cultural paradigm shift for an entire people. FIRE AT THE AGENCY

On the night of October 30, 1872, the agency buildings accidently caught fire. A former employee visiting the agency had accidently poured sawdust on a fire in the blacksmith’s shop, directly underneath a bastion holding a howitzer. Employees doused the flames, but overnight the ashes reignited and the winds quickly spread the blaze through the buildings, burning them to the ground. Employees moved into the adobe houses while a new agency was constructed, this time out of adobe bricks and stone.


The Northern Pacific Railroad was making its way across the northern half of the country and would soon find its course running through Montana and right through the middle of the Crow Reservation. Commissioners were again dispatched to negotiate with the Crows, this time to move their entire reservation into the Judith Basin. The negotiations took place over a week in the summer of 1873, right after an important Crow battle with the Lakota on Pryor Creek. The Mountain Crow Chief Sits in the Middle of the Land expressed many of the Indian’s frustrations over the lack of support for the promises made in their 1868 treaty. He called for the education of their children and the fulfillment of the monies and supplies promised for farming. He pleaded for guns and ammunition to protect his people against the well-armed and three-times-larger Lakota. He requested that their friend Fellows Pease remain as agent. Finally, he asked that a group of Crow Chiefs go to Washington to speak with the “Great Father” as to the future of their land. The “negotiations” were never meant to do anything but convince them to sign the treaty and, in the end, they did, with Commissioner Brunot ensuring total agreement with the signature of each member of the tribe, men and women alike.


Though the Crows weren’t able to retain Pease as their agent, they were given a trip to Washington. The Crow Chiefs – along with their wives, Fellows Pease and two interpreters – met with the Secretary of the Interior, who promised to take their requests to President Grant. The Chiefs expressed their desire that the stipulations of their treaty be fulfilled. From the government’s point of view, the trip was meant only to impress upon the Crows the power of Washington and the glories of “civilization.”

CROW AGENCY MOVES TO THE STILLWATER Though Crow country was saved, nothing was stopping the railroad. The 1873 bankruptcy of the Northern Pacific was only a temporary setback and plans were soon moving forward again to push the railroad through Montana.

The Lakota had also stepped up their attacks and nervous Gallatin Valley residents worried for their safety. The new Crow Agent, Reverend James Wright, wrote to Washington requesting that the agency be moved away from the edge of the reservation where whisky traders were plying their trade with the Indians. Moving the agency farther from Gallatin Valley could also draw the Lakota away from Bozeman and its residents. So, in the summer of 1875, a new agency was established on the Stillwater River, near present day Absarokee Montana. Despite regular Sioux attacks, workers completed the agency buildings and abandoned Fort Parker. All that remains today of the original agency are a few foundation stones to mark the boundary of the buildings. Their silence belies the lives and events of Fort Parker during its active years from 1869 to 1875.

Ultimately, however, fate played its hand in favor of the Apsaàlooke and – due to political pressure from a group of investors building the new town of Carroll on the Missouri – the treaty was never ratified in Congress. Carroll was to be a major steamboat port and point of entry into Montana; its wagon road would have traversed right down the middle of the new reservation. So, at the last minute, Crow country was saved for a time.



Crail Ranch North conservators connect with crail's 1870s ranch By Anne Marie Mistretta

David Coffin, a furniture maker by trade and old home restorer by hobby, bought a rural property parcel in the Bridgers in 2009. Standing on the 13 acres beneath majestic Sacajawea Peaks are 5 structures. The main home appears to be modern. The four other buildings are relics of the Homestead Era, dating back to the 1870s, and beneath the updated exterior of the main home lies another log structure. Little did Coffin know that this property was homesteaded by a young man named Frank Crail, who left Indiana in 1865 while he was in his 20s.

movement. It’s called a double dovetail.” Close examination of the buildings on both Crail Ranches in the Bridgers and Big Sky reveals that they are nearly mirror images. “The buildings’ joints look like twins. And Crail replicated many features 30 years later at his second ranch in Big Sky.”

Coffin scoured local museums and the Internet to obtain Crail historical documents and photos to display in his home and in what was most likely the very first Crail cabin, which Coffin is renovating into a guest house. “I found so much information at the Crail Ranch Museum. Big Sky is fortunate to have Crail “After a few years of work Homestead structures on on the buildings, I decided David Coffin explains the unique joints at a Crail structure in the Bridgers. public land. But possibly I wanted to know more about their history. I started with a the most fortunate thing is all of the documents, photos, and land records search and discovered the original owner was information about the family. It all conveys clearly a way of life a man named Augustus Franklin Crail,” recounts Coffin. “I back in homestead times.” obtained sketchy info on the Crails from various local sources. Then I decided to do an online search. Up came all of this information about the Crail Ranch – except it was in Big Sky!” The Historic Crail Ranch Museum website lured Coffin to Big Sky in December 2014, where he encountered a snowbound ranch campus. But David Coffin is persistent, and he tracked down a Crail Ranch Conservator. After 5 months of correspondence, Coffin toured the Crail Ranch Museum last spring, and Conservators have visited Coffin’s Crail Ranch North. “There is a reason Crail’s buildings continue to survive the rigors of time and the ravages of Montana winters. Crail constructed his buildings with unique joinery that reduces 40

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Restoration efforts

Conservators were able to help Coffin fill some of the informational void about his ranch. They shared copies of letters that Crail wrote when he owned the spread in the Bridgers. “I really appreciated the formal portrait photos of Sallie and the kids, taken when they lived in the Bridgers.” The vistas from the foothills of the Bridgers are as dramatic as the ones from the Meadow in Big Sky. Frank Crail knew how to select outstanding landscapes for his ranches. David Coffin appreciates Crail’s ranching craft. “I’ll be working on this ranch for decades. It’s a labor of love.” Coffin poses next to a barn originally built by Frank Crail in the Bridgers in the 1970s.

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I Beg Your Pardon the curious fate of the james b. daniels reprieve By Heather C. Hultman


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Some say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what value can be assigned to a simple piece of paper? Perhaps a piece of paper’s worth is a human life. In the case of James B. Daniels, this should have meant the difference between life and death; unfortunately, it did not. Daniels was hung in Helena, Montana in spite of possessing an official reprieve from the governor in his pocket. Although the document failed to save Daniels’ life, it does provide an interesting tale in its own right.

On November 29, 1865, James B. Daniels killed Andrew Gartley after an argument arose during a poker game at George Price’s saloon in Helena. The exact cause of the dispute is unknown, but Daniels got angry enough to pull his revolver and Gartley managed to knock the weapon aside. According to the Montana Post, Daniels then “sprang from his seat for the purpose of attack” and stabbed Gartley twice. He fled the saloon, but didn’t get far before he was arrested by U.S. Marshal Neil Howie. In what would become the first officially sanctioned murder trial in Montana Territory, Daniels was taken to Virginia City where he appeared in Justice Lyman Munson’s court. Daniels was no stranger to trouble. Prior to his deadly fight in Helena, he had been convicted of murder in Tuolumne County, California. He managed to get a pardon for that crime, but when he attempted a second murder in California he felt compelled to ‘light out’ for Montana Territory, where he apparently earned his living by gambling. During his trial for knifing Gartley, Daniels’ case was hampered when it became widely known that his victim’s widow died shortly after the crime of a “broken heart.” The accused also did himself no favors by openly threatening the witnesses for the prosecution. But other circumstances were revealed during the trial that allowed Daniels to avoid a murder conviction and instead he was found guilty of manslaughter, sentenced to three years imprisonment and handed a $1,000 fine. Daniels must have made some influential friends in the territory because a number of them petitioned Acting-Governor Thomas Francis Meagher to pardon him. Meagher, perhaps in sympathy with a fellow Irishman (or as a result of judgment clouded by heavy drinking), provided Daniels

with a written reprieve on February 22, 1866. Justice Munson strongly disagreed with the decision to release Daniels, stating that Meagher had “assumed the exercise of a power not delegated to the Executive, unwarranted by law and the Sheriff should have disregarded the order till further advised.” The problem in Munson’s eyes rested in the terminology used by Meagher. In particular, the intent of the word ‘reprieve’ in relation to the validity of Meagher’s actions was questioned because the term technically meant a governor only had the power to grant a “temporary suspension of the execution of the sentence of death on a criminal” in order to “reprieve a criminal for thirty days.” The document handed to Daniels on his release from jail stated that “Thomas Francis Meagher, Acting Governor of the Territory of Montana… [does] hereby reprieve the said James B. Daniels, for the said offence of manslaughter.” Munson argued that if Daniels “had been convicted of murder and sentenced to be hanged” Meagher’s actions would have been appropriate until “the will of the President could be made known.” The judge claimed that Meagher, by allowing Daniels to actually leave custody, had “usurped a prerogative” belonging only to the President of the United States. When the judge demanded the governor to annul his decision, Meagher declined. Regardless of the legal debate following in the wake of his release, Daniels returned to the Helena area on March 2nd with the precious document firmly in his possession. He publicly renewed his threats against anyone who had helped convict him, but he may have realized too late the foolishness of such talk. Members of the local vigilance committee, hardly known for forbearance in matters of criminal punishment, were quick to act.




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Daniels was captured by an armed group of men and, before 11 o’clock that evening, he was granted the “long sleep…at the scene of his former crime” where he “dangled from that same limb of the Hangman’s Tree that had previously borne half a dozen specimens of evil fruit.” In a letter to the Montana Post editor, one individual admitted that perhaps “the actions of the Vigilance Committee was hasty,” but that he was “glad that we have men among us who know how to meet the emergency…from whatever source of danger may assail it.” Perhaps Virginia City newspaper editor Thomas J. Dimsdale summarized the public sentiment best by declaring “when escaped murderers utter threats against peaceable citizens, mountain law is apt to be administered without much regard to technicalities” and to “have waited for consummation of his avowed purpose…would have been shutting the stable door after the steed was stolen.” As the noose was fitted around Daniels’ neck, Meagher’s reprieve was tucked into his pocket in a macabre disregard for the acting governor’s actions. After the body was cut down,“the Governor’s pardon…was taken from his pocket” by an unknown individual. Where the document went in the decades following the lynching is unknown, but sometime in the early 20th century it landed in a St. Louis second-hand bookstore where Alexander Leggat, a Butte hotel owner, purchased it in 1918. Leggat realized the significance of his purchase and had a photograph made of it that spliced the verbiage of both the front and back of the document into one continuous sheet. It was framed under glass and eventually displayed first in the Butte Public Library and later at the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives. By 1980, when the photograph had been donated to the

Montana Historical Society, it had stuck to the glass, making its removal for authentication impossible. As a result, the Society cataloged the document as the original one removed from Daniel’s body in 1866. Leggat kept the original document in his collection until his death in 1961; shortly afterwards, his widow advised the Montana State University – Bozeman (MSU) Library that she intended to sell her husband’s vast collection of ephemera and books. With the help of a generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Walter Donahoe and many others, MSU purchased the collection in 1966. Well-worn and unremarkable in appearance, the significance of the Daniels reprieve was obscured by the sheer bulk of other important pieces cataloged in the wake of the donation. Its significance wasn’t fully understood until late 2012, when MSU archives staff came across a record in a national database listing the document as part of the Montana Historical Society’s collections in Helena. Reasoning it to be highly unlikely that Meagher could have provided Daniels with more than one reprieve, the MSU document was reexamined in comparison with the one in Helena. The results are conclusive: the simple piece of paper that should have made the difference between life and death has made the long journey from the pocket of the executed man to become a ghastly part of Montana’s history preserved by MSU. A certified archivist, Heather C. Hultman is an archival assistant in the Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections of the Montana State University library.

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But you wouldn’t know that from most history textbooks. We all learned about the fortitude of George Washington as he courageously crossed the Delaware, the forthrightness of Abraham Lincoln as he so generously freed the southern slaves, the glory of Manifest Destiny and the honor of the Civil War. It sure looks so neat and tidy from this distance, but what we don’t see is what’s missing: the voices of the downtrodden, the suffering of the subjugated, the struggle of the powerless. How has our traditional historical paradigm benefitted our society? Has it empowered us? Has it unified us? Has it dispelled ignorance, instilled tolerance and offered us a collective cultural identity? We answer these questions with a resounding NO! Historical activism is an idea that grew out of our frustration with the traditional historical paradigm. Through joint experiences and dialogue, we formulated a plan to make history engaging, relevant and actualized as a means for social change. We searched our souls for validation of historical knowledge. Why is history important? How does knowledge of history benefit us? Does history have relevance beyond the academy? Can history be used as a means for social change? Our answer is a resounding YES! After much discussion, we found that there were important and substantial reasons for learning and understanding history and that this knowledge has significant relevance to address real social problems. Through these discussions and ideas, we discovered that we could create a new historical paradigm that would empower, unify and instill tolerance, which could lead to a better world for everyone. This was the moment the Extreme History Project was born. Our first project very clearly fit these ideas as we began to explore the reservation period of the Plains Indians and, in particular, the Crow People. Immediately, we found new challenges that would require new tools to add to our new methods of Historical activism. The reservation period of the American Indian is a painful and difficult history to uncover. In many ways, it’s an ugly history. In order to penetrate it, difficult questions had to be asked; partnerships had to be built and


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trust had to permeate the process. Traditionally, such subjects have been ignored or denied in order to avoid discomfort and deflect blame. Not only have these choices blocked our knowledge of history, they have caused tremendous harm to descendant populations still burdened with the weight of their ancestors’ suffering. Could validation through honest dialogue and collaboration begin to heal the generational cultural trauma? This is the assumption we are bringing to this project, which has the potential to offer a valuable tool to work with descendant communities and the general public. Our process couples traditional historical research with oral histories and dialogue around difficult issues, including new language and terminology to facilitate dialogue without causing retreat due to feelings of disrespect. Descendant communities still feel the raw pain of the suffering of their ancestors and legacy of their history. Seemingly innocuous words and terms used by those viewed as representatives of the harming community can be interpreted as disrespectful by the descendant community. Use of such terms in a dialogue can cause an immediate stoppage of progress. Are there new words and terms that we can use – empty of the baggage of history – to keep the discussion moving forward? Our project hopes to create a model for such dialogue. Historical activism doesn’t shy away from the tough topics and controversial issues. It courageously moves into the challenges in order to open a dialogue and move toward a process of healing. It is fearless, thoughtful and engaging in its inception, process and result. Its goals are challenging and its standards are high because the results have the potential for nothing less than powerful social change. It is not just our goal, it is our imperative. History isn’t pretty…but by recognizing and acknowledging its ugliness, its pain, its dirtiness and its shame, we can find a new way of reaching out to each other in tolerance, acceptance and unity.

Welcome to the Extreme History Project, History for the People. We are a non-profit, independent public history organization whose aim is to bring engaging and enriching historical programming to Bozeman, the Gallatin Valley and beyond. Through lectures, walking tours, performances and may other fun events, we hope to make history a part of our daily dialogue to help us all understand how we got here and help us determine where we are going. Does this excite you? You can add your voice to ours by supporting us through our membership program. Since we are independent of any institutions, we are entirely supported by good people like you who believe that our past informs our present and our future. Become a member by choosing one of the following membership categories and log onto and sign up.

Membership Categories Small Acts $25

We don’t have to engage in grand heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. – Howard Zinn

The Goddess in the Details $50

God may be in the details but the Goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back. – Gloria Steinem

We Are Our History $100

There are a whole lot of historical factors that have played a part in our being where we are today, and I think that to even begin to understand our contemporary issues and contemporary problems, you have to understand a little bit about that history. – Wilma Mankiller

Destroying Doors $500

If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door. – Harvey Milk

Breaking the Silence $1,000

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. – Dr. Martin Luther King You can also mail membership checks to The Extreme History Project at P. O. Box 5019, Bozeman, Montana, 59717-5019. Your support will help ensure that we all will remember our past when we make decisions for our future.

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Gallatin County’s 1925 Earthquake By Rachel Phillips, Research Coordinator at the Gallatin History Museum; Photos care of Gallatin History Museum

It was a typical Saturday evening in Manhattan. Families gathered around the dinner table as some folks started for the dance at Legion Hall. In Three Forks, the McDonald clan welcomed Belgrade relatives for dinner to celebrate their new baby’s baptism on Sunday. Moments later, a violent and unexpected event changed the course of the evening for thousands of Montanans. Nobody arrived for the dance, and the McDonald family never finished dinner. Just before 6:30 pm, on June 27, 1925, Gallatin County’s first significant earthquake in its short recorded history rattled the windows.

People throughout Montana, Idaho and Wyoming – even residents of Seattle – felt the tremor. In Butte, hundreds of concerned citizens immediately lit up the local telephone switchboard, wanting to reach loved ones. Other confused residents rang in just to inquire about the commotion. Normally, Butte telephone operators expected about 6,200 calls per hour. That Saturday evening, the switchboard overloaded with 25,000 calls every 60 minutes. An emergency crew of 28 operators worked so feverishly that seven of them fainted. Thankfully, all recovered quickly and returned to work. Most of the damage was confined to southwest Montana, particularly Manhattan and Three Forks. Inside local homes, dishes crashed to the floor, pictures fell and furniture suddenly became mobile. House exteriors fared slightly better, though chimneys suffered the most. Virtually every brick chimney in Manhattan and Three Forks was either toppled or twisted beyond use. The same Mr. Bennett who was almost flattened by his piano emerged a celebrity, as he owned an electric range. He later recalled that 15 chimney-less families – fearful of house fires – made use of his range for cooking meals while their hearths and woodstoves awaited repair.

Methodist Church at Three Forks after the 1925 earthquake. Linfield photo.

The earthquake’s epicenter was north of Manhattan and Three Forks, and caused a shaking that measured 6.75 on the Richter scale. The event remained etched in the minds of Montanans for the rest of their lives, and everyone had a story to tell. Giving up on their meal, the McDonalds scooped up the children and fled as their coal stove bounced off its perch and glided across the room. Fearing for their safety, they spent the rest of the night at a nearby church, where the baby was baptized the next day among the fallen pews. Retired Milwaukee Railroad engineer E. V. Bennett of Three Forks had a rough time of it when his piano glided across the room and nearly plastered him against the wall. It was a miracle no one was killed or seriously injured, although terror reigned for the next two days as severe aftershocks gripped the county.


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Brick and stone public buildings fared much worse than the smaller, more flexible frame houses. Manhattan native Francis Niven arrived in town with the Hays family just after 7 pm for a dance, only to find the streets deserted. Looking back, he marveled that nobody had died from the fallen bricks and cornices that littered the crushed sidewalks. In Three Forks, two banks, the Avery Garage and the Methodist Church exhibited severe devastation. The Manhattan State Bank, the Walter White Building and the Kid Theater were among the hardest hit in Manhattan. Unfortunately, local schools sustained the most damage. Three Forks Consolidated School, Manhattan Community High School and Manhattan Grade School all crumpled at their tops. Brick schools in Willow Creek and Logan were also deemed unsafe for children. Repairing these educational facilities proved to be a major problem. The

Earthquake damage to the Three Forks Bank

school systems affected by the quake had already reached their legal limit of bonding and the law denied a reinstatement of taxes to raise the $62,057 required to repair five area schools. A county delegation made up of Manhattan, Three Forks, Logan and Willow Creek school superintendents and board members traveled to Helena requesting state help. Concerned citizens feared for the future of education in these communities, as expressed by County Superintendent of Schools Miss Lucille Quaw in the July 9th edition of the Bozeman Weekly Chronicle: “It is not a question of the children being deprived of schooling for one year, but for many years to come.”

Manhattan pioneer Harry Altenbrand promoted a series of boxing matches to raise funds, which suggested that people were more apt to part with their money if they could view a bloody bout in return. The wellorganized fights drew local favorites, in addition to men from Roundup and Ennis. Popular Manhattan animal trainer, businessman and former pugilist Kid Johnstone trained several competitors. Even a young Hubert “Kid” Dennis, who later ranked fourth in the world in the lightweight division, put on a good show. Thanks to local boxing enthusiasts, Manhattan Schools were open for business by mid-September. The 1925 earthquake also destroyed the Milwaukee Railroad’s path through Sixteen Mile Canyon. Rockslides dammed the flow of water and created a lake 60 feet deep in places. One fascinating incident involved a passenger train, which traveled through the canyon in two sections that evening: one section passed through Tunnel #8 just moments before the quake hit, closing the tunnel. The train eventually limped into Lombard without power. Work began almost immediately to clear the canyon of debris and fix damaged track. Within 48 hours, several hundred men and thousands of pounds of dynamite arrived. The men worked around the clock and had the area clear for rail traffic by July 10, 1925. That Saturday night likely passed slowly for most residents, as aftershocks came in waves every couple of hours. Most spent the night outdoors. Terrified of flooding, some Three Forks residents moved to high ground, anticipating a break in the Madison Dam nearly 40 miles upstream. Witnesses even reported that the water level of the Jefferson River dropped several feet. Great cracks in the earth magically appeared, and creeks and springs used for irrigation suddenly dried up.

Damage to the East end of the Manhattan Community High School building after the 1925 earthquake

In July, Governor Erickson established committees throughout the state responsible for gathering monetary donations for Gallatin County schools. Officials believed that most Montanans would jump at the chance to help their fellow citizens in need. Their attempts failed miserably. The committees raised only a fraction of the money by August, and things looked grim for the start of school in the fall. Salvation eventually came, but in a rather unconventional way.



A view of earthquake damage to a highway near Logan. Francis Niven photo

Despite the hardships, locals realized it could have been much worse. As an editorial in the Bozeman Weekly Chronicle stated on July 2nd, the Gallatin had been lucky.“The slight taste this community received of earth shocks gives some idea of what the peoples in the countries where they are comparatively frequent have to undergo. Sympathy with these people will be more acute after our own experiences.” Research Coordinator Rachel Phillips first joined the staff of the Gallatin History Museum (formerly the Pioneer Museum) in 2008. Sources: Bates, Grace. “Earthquakes 1925-1935-1959, Recollections – Reflections.” Paper written for the Gallatin County Historical Society, 1980. Denning, Frances. “Residents Recall 1925 Quake; Memories Vivid After 46 Years.” The Gallatin County Tribune and Belgrade Journal, August 5, 1971. Denning, Frances. “Retired Railroaders Remember When The Mountain Fell Down.” The Gallatin County Tribune and Belgrade Journal, July 29, 1971. “Excited Persons Cause of Terrific Telephone Strain.” Unidentified Newspaper, 1925. Located in the “EarthquakesThree Forks” Vertical File, Gallatin County Historical Society and Pioneer Museum. “Gallatin’s Luck.” Bozeman Weekly Chronicle, July 2, 1925. Myers, Ruth. “The Great Earthquake of 60 Years Ago.” Unidentified Newspaper. Located in the “Earthquakes-Three Forks” Vertical File, Gallatin County Historical Society and Pioneer Museum. Niven, Francis L. Manhattan Omnibus: Stories of Historical Interest of Manhattan and Its Surrounding Communities. Francis L. Niven, 1989. “Property Damage in Gallatin May Reach More Than $500,000.” Bozeman Weekly Chronicle, July 2, 1925. “School Damage by the Quakes.” Bozeman Weekly Chronicle, July 9, 1925. “State Drive For Relief of Gallatin Schools: Reconstruction of Buildings Wrecked by Quake Planned.” Bozeman Weekly Chronicle, July 2, 1925. Strahn, B. Derek. “Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Earthquakes in Southwestern Montana.” At Home Magazine, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, January 20, 2009.


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Minelab opening new frontiers for metal detecting By Patti Albrecht, Owner of Earth’s Treasures

Since long ago, mankind has had the desire to find treasure. In the past, this required maps, legends or a whole lot of digging and hoping to find something. Today, metal detectors give us the unique opportunity to glimpse beneath the surface of the ground without breaking a sweat. Since the value of treasure is in the eye of the beholder, it is personal preference that will dictate whether treasure hunters search for coins/ relics or gold nuggets and, as a result, which brand of metal detector will best fulfill those needs.

integrated GPS and map screen, areas being searched can be downloaded and then compared with google maps, thereby achieving thorough coverage of the search site. Metal detecting is another fun way – with profitable potential – to enjoy the outdoors. It gives us a peek into what is under our feet and left behind from long ago. Earth's Treasures stocks Minelab metal detectors. Come in and let our staff help you decide on the best metal detector for your needs and give you pointers to make your detecting experience enjoyable.

A great brand option, Minelab was founded in 1985 and continues to set new standards in innovation and to increase detectorists success rate in the field. In the not so distant past, metal detectors were purchased, used a few times and then assigned to a lonely shelf in the garage. “Too heavy” or “too complicated” were often the reasons given to stop detecting.

“Bozeman’s Lil Museum and Mining Store,” Earth’s Treasures, invites curiosity and nurtures exploration of the natural wonders of today and yesterday. Open Monday through Saturday, from 9:30AM to 5:30PM, Earth's Treasures is located at 25 N. Willson in Bozeman. For more information, prospecting supplies or products related to Montana’s rich history, please visit or call (406) 586-3451.

In April 2015, Minelab launched a new, affordable line of metal detectors: The Go-Find series. These new detectors are a true turn-on-and-go metal detector. In addition to a host of other benefits, the Go-Find series is: • Collapsible – No assembly required. These full-size metal detectors fold neatly to a compact 22 inches, easily fitting into a small backpack, gym bag or suitcase. • Lightweight – They weigh just over two pounds. • Waterproof (coil) – The waterproof coil is submersible up to two feet under water. Opens up detecting on the beach, in the rain, or in creeks or rivers. • Smartphone Bluetooth integrated – A free app helps identify coins, view detector information and even play music. Minelab has become known for producing top-end gold machines. If someone wants to find gold nuggets with a metal detector, a Minelab detector is often the one finding the most gold. These detectors are designed and tested in highly mineralized soil, similar to the soil conditions of Montana's gold fields. In February 2015, Minelab launched its newest gold metal detector: the GPZ 7000. This machine can detect gold up to 40% deeper than any of their previous gold detectors. Users have even been revisiting locations where they had already believed to have extracted all the discernible gold and finding that with the GPZ 7000, there are more gold nuggets in these already worked over areas. The standard coil is waterproof and submersible up to three feet under water. With the



Owenhouse Ace Hardware: The helpful place since 1879 By Alison Grey

For more than 130 years, Bozeman residents have trusted the folks at Owenhouse Ace Hardware to provide them with everything from buggies, wagons and plows to modern tools, appliances and lawnmowers. A valuable and integral part of the Bozeman community and surrounding areas, Owenhouse has survived the tenure of time, from the days of hand labor and foot travel to modern tools and motorized transportation. Evolving from a farm supply store to a full-service hardware store, the business continues to operate on its long-standing reputation of providing quality products and great service, before and after the sale. This tradition has garnered it the phrase heard lovingly among locals: “Ace is the Place.” Opened in 1879 by Mr. Frank Benepe and Mr. Davidson, the store focused mainly on providing farm supplies like buggies, wagons, harnesses, hay and grain. In 1890, saddle maker Mr. E. J. Owenhouse purchased an interest in the business, then called Benepe-Owenhouse Hardware, where he would work for nearly three decades.

“Agricultural Implements” are still visible on the west side of the building. The business eventually moved to the present location at 36 East Main. Over the years, the building has been modernized and expanded, including the transition of the carriage and auto shop into the current bike repair shop. To increase their national buying power and remain competitive, Owenhouse joined a national co-op of independent hardware store owners in 1964, a move to help this locally-owned business compete with the influx of larger chains.

The history of ownership here is one of long tenures. Current owner Larry Bowman purchased an interest in the business in 1975 from the owners at that time, Louis Spain Sr., Lou Spain In 1905, the store set up shop at the corner of Willson and and Larry’s father-in-law, Bud Main, where Chalet Sports is now Williamson. Soon afterwards, located. The words “Benepe” and he was joined by Phil Adams, who had an ownership interest from 1976 until 2000. Louis Spain Sr. retired in 1988 and Lou

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Spain in 2003. Continuing the store’s tradition of family operations, Larry’s son, Eric, is currently active in the business. In 1982, Owenhouse purchased the building next door at 26 East Main, formerly housing Woolworth’s and later Coast to Coast. The building was extensively remodeled, creating the space where the current hardware section of the store resides. As business continued to grow, Owenhouse Ace Hardware opened a second store in 2008 on West Main, next to the Gallatin Valley Mall. The building may be new, but the business continues to operate based on the same traditions and values that brought the original store its longevity and success. A 1955 booklet entitled,“Story of Owenhouse Hardware Company,” stated that “business is more than mere business; it is a form of expressing the good life.” As one of Montana’s longest run businesses and an icon of historic downtown Bozeman, this philosophy has certainly rung true. Generations of families have patronized the store throughout the years, all enjoying the same friendly attitude and knowledgeable, personalized service. With over 130 years under its belt and many years to come, there is certainly promise that “Ace will always be the place.” From bike repair to shelving and storage, the staff at Owenhouse Ace Hardware is ready to assist you with all of your hardware and home improvement needs. Find them in historic downtown Bozeman at 36 East Main Street or West Bozeman at 8695 Huffine Lane, on the web at or by calling 406-587-5401.




10 Destination Big sky 2016

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Today’s itinerary: hike or bike out of your cabin, see the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, dine on farm-to-table cuisine and enjoy live music in Big Sky’s Town Center. Tomorrow: fly fish on blue ribbon trout streams. With lodging and recreation packages, top-quality guides, and 100 years of Montana heritage, Lone Mountain Ranch is the ideal headquarters for your Yellowstone vacation.


Uncovering a Community bozeman’s african american heritage By Crystal Alegria The historic African American community in Bozeman is nearly invisible until you examine census records, newspaper accounts and city directories. Only then do Bozeman’s black citizens come into focus. One name leads to another and soon a tightknit and thriving African American community emerges during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Working as machinists, laborers, laundresses, housekeepers and porters, Bozeman’s African Americans contributed to the building of Bozeman through their labor, religious activity, child rearing, social clubs and community participation. One important member of this community was Emma Barnes. Emma came to Bozeman, Montana Territory in 1874 and made her first official appearance in the 1880 Bozeman Census as a 21-year-old single mother living in Bozeman with her four children. Emma was born in Fort Benton, Montana Territory in 1859 and made her way to Bozeman by 1874. She had her first daughter, Lulu, in the early 1870s at the Crow Indian Agency, which, at that time, was located ten miles east of present day Livingston. Her second child, William, followed in 1876. Emma had two more children in quick succession and, when the census recorder came to her door in June of 1880, four children were listed. The census reveals Emma’s profession as “laundress,” a humble occupation she shared with local Chinese men.

Being a single African American woman in Bozeman with four children to raise and a meager salary at best must have made for a hard life for Emma. But, in December of 1880, that changed when she married Eli Rogers, an African American man who was 21 years her senior. The couple and the children moved into a house located on the north side of Bozeman in a section of town with few dwellings at that time. Ten months later – in October of 1881 – the local newspaper, The Avant Courier, ran a notice stating,“Born – At Bozeman, MT. October 24, 1881, to the wife of Elijah Rodgers, a daughter.” After this child, Emma had at least eight more children, the majority of whom survived to adulthood. All of Emma’s surviving children grew up in the little house on north Black Street, which made for a busy household. A newspaper account from 1883 captures a slice of Emma and Eli’s life: “The negroes living on North Black street proceeded to make a little Hades on earth last Thursday evening, much to the indignation and disgust of the good citizens of this theretofore quiet neighborhood. For one hour imprecations, curses, smashing of glass and furniture, crying of children and the high pitched voice of a female filled the air. Word was sent to the marshal who promptly sent a policeman to arrest the offenders.” Eli Rogers was born in 1832 in Tennessee and probably lived in slavery during the early part of his life. The first mention of Eli in Bozeman comes in 1879, when he is listed in the Bozeman City Directory. We can only guess that he came to Bozeman for a better life – where he could find a job and own property – which he did. Eli is listed as a day laborer throughout his life. He owned the house on north Black Street. As Emma and Eli’s children grew up and moved out of the house, they married and established households of their own, living throughout the north side of Bozeman. Six of the children settled within three to four blocks of Eli and Emma’s house and lived out their lives in these households.


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Emma died in 1901 of Brights Disease. Her obituary in the Avant Courier reads:

Bozeman’s historical narrative is filled with the stories of Euro-American founding mothers and fathers, but lacks the stories of those who built our city brick by brick. Many of these stories are lost to time and forgotten. Giving these forgotten members of our community a voice in our narrative reveals a richer, more poignant understanding of Bozeman’s development and recognizes the contributions of all its former citizens, which elevates the work of all who contribute to our community today. Emma and Eli Rogers are an example of a family who chose Bozeman as their home and worked to make it a place where their children could establish families and households of their own. We will never know their daily struggles – and there is no doubt they had many – but it is important to add their story to the larger narrative and give them credit for their help in building the city of Bozeman. If you would like to learn more about the African American community in Bozeman, The Extreme History Project hosts a walking tour May through August called,“Family Matters: Bozeman’s Historic African American Community.” Check out our Adventure Through Time website for more details.

In life, Emma’s family was close-knit and now, in death, they remain so. Eli and Emma are both buried in Bozeman’s Sunset Hills Cemetery with many of their children buried around them.



Preserving & Promoting the History of Gallatin County and Southwest Montana Furnished turn of The Big Horn the century Parlor Gun Room

Gallatin History Museum & Bookstore

Early town printing press

An authentic 1870s log cabin Model of Fort Ellis (1867-1886)

Native American exhibit Historical photo displays

Early farm & ranch tools in the Agricultural Room


Sheriff’s room with a hanging gallows and a prisoners’ isolation cell

Book store with local, historical and Montana books

Research Center and photo archives

317 W. Main • Bozeman, MT • 59715 • 406-522-8122 •

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Preserving Our History The story of local founders

The Gallatin Historical Society and Gallatin History Museum is housed in the old county jail building which was built in 1911 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1982, the Gallatin History Museum has offered a variety of changing exhibits portraying earlier days in the Gallatin Valley.

Show your support of the Gallatin Historical Society. . .

Become a Member Visit or Volunteer The Society is dependent solely upon private memberships, grants, donations, memorials, and bequests. This is a non-profit organization; gifts are tax-deductible per the codes of the IRS. Contributions and memorials are welcome. Please mail to:

Gallatin History Museum - Gallatin Historical Society 317 W. Main Street Bozeman, MT 59715

MEMBERSHIPS General Memberships start at $45/year and include

Photo credit: Matt Arkins

• 10% discount on museum bookstore items • Free admission to museum • Subscription to & recognition in the Gallatin History Museum Quarterly Magazine

Subscribe to the Gallatin History Museum Quarterly email or call 406-522-8122 for information Summer Hours: Tue - Sat 10 - 5, Winter Hours: Tue - Sat 11 - 4 Admission: $5, children 12 & under and members: FREE



Five Reasons Why the Commanders at Fort Ellis Would Have

Hated the Town of Bozeman By Thomas C. Rust, Ph. D.

In December of 1867, Captain Robert S. LaMotte of the 13th U.S. Infantry sat down at his desk in the newly constructed headquarters building of Fort Ellis. He had started construction of this new post only a few months before and several buildings were still under construction in this remote area of the Montana Territory. His frustration with some civilians of nearby Bozeman was palpable. While the settlement provided several services for his soldiers, they, nonetheless, also provided irritations. His situation proved not to be terribly unique. Post commanders throughout the fort’s 19-year history had good reason to dislike the settlement of Bozeman, and they often expressed it rather vociferously. 1. The town damaged the health of the soldiers. With a population of men that outnumbered women more than three to one, prostitutes claimed much of the common enlisted men’s attention – often with some unpleasant results. The women that specialized in soldiers only made the health problems worse, since they were often the worn women of a house, who were more likely to be infected with STDs.


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Some claimed that when a prostitute "went to the dogs, she went to the soldiers, the lowest level in the customer's scale." In 1874 alone, the fort had 39 cases of syphilis and 28 cases of gonorrhea (almost a fully company of soldiers)! With such a large number soldiers removed from duty with these afflictions, commanders could only grind their teeth in frustration. The soldiers at Fort Ellis engaged in significant amounts of sexual activity with prostitutes in town. Despite the efforts of many commanders to promote temperance, the town also frequently sold liquor to the soldiers, promoting rampant alcoholism the town was only too eager support. For example, on 19 and 20 February 1872 – a few days after a payday – 18 soldiers left the post without permission and became so drunk as to be unfit for duty, and those numbers do not include the soldiers who had permission to go to town. Even when ordered to town to retrieve a soldier who was absent without leave (AWOL), Sergeant John Davis decided to join the soldier he was sent to retrieve at "at a house of ill repute ... and there became so drunk as to be unable to perform any military duty." 2. The town was a distraction from military duties. Alcohol was sometimes, but not always, at the root of this problem. In the early months of 1873, two privates from Company F of the 2nd Cavalry urinated in the company quarters while intoxicated, and another from Company A of the 7th Infantry "fouled his bunk and floor" of the company quarters. The commanders must have felt like modern junior high principals having to deal with the juvenile scatological behavior. Garrison court-martial records listed several instances in which men left the post without permission or overstayed passes as mentioned before.

Even sober trips to town frequently interfered with the soldiers' military duties and became problematic for the post commanders. For example, in October 1872, the post herder simply abandoned the fort's stock and went to Bozeman. On December 7th of that year, Major James Brisbin attempted to deal with the problem when he issued General Order No. 55 which stated: It having been reported to the commanding officer that enlisted men of this command are in the habit of visiting the town of Bozeman without permission; all such persons are warned to at once desist from this practice or they will be considered as absent without leave and treated accordingly. Even the “healthier” activities that Bozeman offered could be equally exasperating to the fort’s commanders. Both the fort and the town had baseball teams. Because of their close proximity – and perhaps due to underlying tensions between the soldiers and civilians – a rivalry grew between the fort and town teams. Games could be rough: the casualty list for one game included a peeled nose, one sprained ankle and "several fingers knocked out of joint." In 1868, a player on the team asked to be relieved from guard duty to play a game against the town. The commanding officer emphatically responded: While the game is believed to be healthful and diverting, and one to be encouraged when not incompatible with the interest of service, the inconsiderate presumption manifested the application for the relief of a soldier for such a purpose from one of the most important duties know to the garrison, shows an ignorance of military propriety and a lack of soldierly thought and habit greatly to be deplored.

“A Beautiful Fight Ensued,” by Frederic Remington’s “The Honor of the Troop,” published in Harper’s News Monthly Magazine , June1899. Soldiers in general were notorious for bad behavior while drinking and the courts martial records and the Avant Courier files indicate Fort Ellis was no exception.

Main Street in Bozeman, facing west, circa 1860s. A wooden bridge lays in the foreground of the image, spanning Sourdough Creek. Two blacksmith shops stand at the right of the dirt street behind the bridge. The LaClede Hotel is visible at right with the flag flying above it. Photo courtesy of the Gallatin County Historical Society.



Company F, 2nd Cavalry, at Fort Ellis in 1874. Note the condition of the long building in the background. Exactly which building is pictured is not known, but compare the condition of building with the description by the Avant Courier the same year. Photo courtesy of the Gallatin County Historical Society.

The soldiers must have taken his reprimand to heart. In the future, the post team on occasion would leave in the middle of games to attend to their military tasks. 3. The town was a den of thieves. Less principled settlers often swindled the drunken soldiers out of (or outright stole) their equipment. In 1869, Private Michael Foley left the fort without permission and went to Bozeman and bartered his cavalry great coat – a long, heavy wool overcoat – in exchange for money to purchase alcohol. Private Vickerman either sold, lost, or allowed his great coat to be stolen while in a drunken stupor four years later. Private Joseph Hana became so drunk in 1871 that he allowed his government horse to be stolen. The same thing happened to Private John Irving two years later. However, stealing was not limited to civilians. On December 7, 1870, Private Alfred W. Monday stole a pair of cavalry boots from his company quarters and intended to go to Bozeman and sell or trade them.

the Indians of the Territory. The local paper often sensationally reported rumors of “the slaughter of one or more of our race by the murderous redskins.” It editorialized that the number of soldiers was “always inadequate,” even at times where no clear threat was imminent. When post commanders did not respond as the town leaders wished, they were not above slighting the post commanders by directly contacting officials in Washington, using extreme hyperbole to describe the danger and the possible ramifications.

The thievery was not limited to taking advantage of drunk soldiers. One enterprising civilian even stole the bridge that crossed the East Gallatin River by the post. A soldier wrote to the town’s newspaper, The Avant Courier, and asked with dripping sarcasm, Photo facing north toward the Bridger Mountains of soldiers in dress uniforms on the "Who stole the suspension bridge at the first parade ground of Fort Ellis, Image courtesy of the Gallatin County Historical Society. crossing of the creek above the post? This fine U.S. structure has been carried off bodily, but danger to life and limb departed with it." In 1869, three Springfield For example, a small horse raid in 1871 was quickly settled by troops rifles were discovered missing and reported to be in the hands of miners from Fort Ellis. However, the territorial governor painted the situation as at Emigrant Gulch, about 50 miles away. Major Brisbin, undoubtedly desperate. He wrote the Secretary of the Interior that the valley “is entirely aggravated but not surprised, ordered a detail to proceed to the area and unguarded and the citizens (and there are none better) are entirely at the retrieve the guns. mercy of the Indians, and many contemplate an early return to the East unless they can be protected . . .” The post commander, Major Eugene 4. The citizens of the town aggravated the military situation. The M. Baker, had to clarify the situation: “The reports of an Indian raid last settlers of Bozeman lived in a state of unfounded paranoia with regard to week in the Gallatin Valley are wholly false.” He candidly stated,“It seems


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Officers of Fort Ellis taken in July of 1871 by William Henry Jackson. Officers pictured (from left to right): 1st Lt. Frank C. Grugan, Capt. Lewis Thompson, 2nd Lt. George H. Wright, 2nd Lt. Gustavus C. Doane, Cpt. Lewis Cass Forsyth, Assist. Surgeon A.B. Campbell, Dr. R.M. Whitefoot, 1st Lt. Sam T. Hamilton, Major (Bvt. Lt. Col.) Eugene Baker (Commanding Post), Capt. Edward Ball, 2nd Lt. Lovell H. Jerome, Capt. George L. Tyler (front with arm on rail), 2nd Lt Eward J. McClernand, and 2nd Lt. Charles B Scholfield. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

probable this is merely another effort to get troops by magnifying dangers, when they do exist, or by inventing them when short of the facts.” The perceived lack of action by commanders frustrated the civilians to the extent that they considered taking matters into their own hands. Most famously, Bozemanites began to form a plan that would intentionally provoke hostilities and force the army into action in the summer of 1873 with the Yellowstone Wagon Road and Prospecting Expedition. It was clearly evident that a party of settlers heading down the Yellowstone to the mouth of the Big Horn River likely would be confronted by hostile bands of Sioux. “If the movement goes on as is expected,” Sweitzer wrote his superiors in January of 1874,“the result might be that the Government may be drawn into giving the Sioux a campaign that will forever settle the question of Indian hostilities…” It was also clear to the organizers that an Indian war might not only result from their actions, but was actually desirable given the perceived military inaction. It is possible the boys may precipitate difficulties and stir up a fight with the Indians . . . [and] make more Indians bite the dust in one round than the military have in the past five years . . ..

Members of the expedition wrote back to the Courier that they were encouraged by the news of hostilities with the Sioux on the Red Cloud Agency “as it relieves us of the responsibility of causing an Indian War.” 5. The settlers showed a fundamental lack of respect toward the post commanders and their wishes. As if endangering the soldiers health, weakening the military disciplines of their commanders, nefariously stealing from soldiers and provoking unwanted hostilities were not enough, the civilians of Bozeman simply would not obey the simple directives given to them. When Captain Robert S. LaMotte constructed the fort in 1867, he warned the people of Bozeman not to sell liquor to his soldiers. They simply failed to comply and that is why LaMotte was so exasperated. He consequently penned Special Order No. 39, which directed Lieutenant Green to take a contingent of soldiers and . . . pull down [the] log house [near Aults Mill]. . . It having come to the knowledge the commanding officer that persons occupying said house are in the habit of furnishing the soldiers of this post with intoxicating liquor, although repeatedly warned that such conduct would not be permitted . . . Three days later, Captain La Motte carried his war directly into the town of Bozeman itself when he sent a contingent of twelve soldiers



Granite marker at the site of Fort Ellis, placed in 1976 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The marker stands at what would have the back of one of the company quarters at the post. The plaque gives only brief mention of the fort but a much longer commemoration to William Clark’s passage along the East Gallatin River with a contingent of the Corps of Discovery in 1806.

. . . to the business place of a certain person, known by the name of "Colonel Chestnut," located in the town of Bozeman City and there confiscate and destroy all spirituous and alcoholic liquors he may find on the premises. From there he will proceed to the house, on the door east of Fuller & Rich's store . . . known as "The Saloon" and likewise confiscate, pour out and destroy all intoxicating liquors he may find . . . If the citizens of Bozeman did not take his instructions seriously, he needed to show them that he was serious. Yet, they continued to selectively follow the commanders’ directions and ignored them when they were inconvenient. In 1886, a freighter named Jesse Carter was stopped near the post for driving his wagon off the road on the military reservation, damaging the post’s hayfield. Mr. Carter reported the incident to the Courier, the editor defended the Civil War veteran's position and belittled the soldiers at the post.

In view of the fact that Mr. Carter faithfully served his country for three years during the late rebellion, he does not take kindly to being snubbed in this way . . . by an officer of the regular army who . . . has probably never been under fire. While the town did provide many positive connections with the soldiers of the post and opportunities to increase morale, the relationship with the fort was ambivalent at best and, despite the positive, post commanders had reason to hate the town as much as love it. Resources: ''Fort Custer-Fort .Sarpy, Places" File, unpublished, untitled,

Photo of the ceremony when Fort Ellis was being abandoned, 1884. Image courtesy of the Gallatin County Historical Society.


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author unknown, written for submission to Harpers Magazine, late 1870s.; U.S. War Department, A Report on the Hygiene Descriptions of Military Posts, Circular No. 8, 407-408; White 305. U.S. War Department, A Report on the Hygiene Descriptions of Military Posts, Circular No. 8 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1875), 51. General Order No. 1, 13 January 1873: General Order No. 10, 21 March 1873; General Order No. 16, 10 April 1873. Records of United States Army Military Commands, Military Posts. General Order Book, Fort Ellis, Montana Territory. Record Group 393, National Archives. General Order No. 41, 16 October 1872, General Order Book, Fort

Etching of Bozeman in the early 1870s that first appeared in the Pacific Rural Press from San Francisco (1872). The Bridger Mountains in the background are more interpretive than realistic, though the access to Bridger Canyon is visible.

Ellis, Montana. General Order No. 55, 7 December 1876. General Orders, Fort Ellis, Montana Territory. Base Ball," Bozeman Avant Courier, 9 May 1873, 3. General Order No. 28, 27 September 1868, General Order Book, Fort Ellis, Montana. Bozeman Avant Courier, 20 May 1880, 3. General Order No. 15, 11 November 1869, Fort Ellis General Order Book; General Order No 4, 13 January 1873, ibid; and General Order No. 31, 10 December 1870, ibid. Bozeman Avant Courier, 19 July 1877, 3. Special Order No. 59, 4 June 1869. Bozeman Avant Courier , 12 May 1872, 3. Bozeman Avant Courier , 4 April 1878, 3. Governor B.F. Potts to the Secretary of the Interior, 2 August, 1871, National Archives Microfilm, Micro Copy 666, Roll 16. Baker to Governor Potts, 3 October 1871, Letters Sent, Fort Ellis. James S. Hutchins, “Poison in the Pemmican: The Yellowstone WagonRoad and Prospecting Expedition of 1874.� Montana: The Magazine of

Western History, Vol. 8, No. 3 (1958), 10. Major N.B. Sweitzer to Assistant Adjutant General, Department of Dakota, 22 January 1874, Letters Sent, Fort Ellis. Bozeman Avant Courier, 27 March 1874, 2. Bozeman Avant Courier, 27 February 1874, 2. Special Order No. 39, 11 December 1867, Fort Ellis, Montana, Special Order Book, Records of the U.S. Continental Commands, 1821-1920, Record Group 393, National Archives, Washington D.C. Special Order No. 41, 14 December 1867, Special Order Book, Fort Ellis, Montana. Bozeman Avant Courier, 15 July 1886, 3. Thomas C. Rust, Ph. D. is a native of Bozeman and has taught at Montana State University Billings for 16 years. He has authored works on a range of topics, from ancient Rome to the American West. His recent book, Lost Fort Ellis: A Frontier History of Bozeman focuses on the symbiotic but difficult relationship between the army at Fort Ellis and civilians in Bozeman.



bozeman’s finest

with a great and caring staff

Gallatin Veterinary Hospital (GVH) provides cutting edge technology and professional service given with compassion, courtesy and respect. Pets are members of your family; we treat them like members of ours. Accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) since 2009, GVH was the first hospital in Bozeman to earn this distinction, which is awarded to only 12% of the veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada. AAHA evaluates over 900 of the highest quality standards available in veterinary medicine, including: anesthesia, client service, contagious disease, continuing education,


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dentistry, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, examination facilities, housekeeping and maintenance, human resources, laboratory, leadership, medical records, pain management, patient care, pharmacy, referral standards, safety and surgery to ensure the best care for your pet. A significant continuing commitment in providing the best possible care for you and your four-legged family members, AAHA accreditation is a huge undertaking, but at GVH we believe it makes us stronger.


Computer Tomography (CT) We are excited to bring the newest and best technology in advanced 3D imaging to GVH. We are the first veterinary hospital in the state of Montana to install the NewTom 5G Vet Cone Beam CT. The technology is so advanced, that many of these machines are placed in universities, such as The University of California at Davis, or in larger cities. Why is this important? Cone beam technology allows equal and, in some cases, better image quality when compared to traditional CT scans. It exposes

“Pets are members of your family and we treat them like they are members of ours.” our patients to less radiation and is completed in a fraction of the time, which means less time under anesthesia. All of our scans can be read by a radiologist that specializes in computer tomography and results are usually available within 24 hours. More information, quicker scans and less anesthesia is a win for our patients. Montana Veterinary Surgical Service (MVSS) MVSS is Montana’s most skilled and experienced small animal surgery referral service. Dr. Mark Albrecht is the only small animal residency trained surgeon in Montana. He is one of the first 50 surgeons in the world to be trained by Dr. Slocum to do Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomies (TPLO) and the first person in Montana to offer TPLO surgeries. In addition, GVH was a beta test site for the Canine Unicompartmental Elbow Procedure (CUE) – a revolutionary treatment for elbow dysplasia. The results of that testing are in publication and show this procedure to significantly help patients with elbow arthritis. In fact, Dr. Albrecht has now preformed this procedure on two of his own Labradors. Dr. Albrecht is a member of the Veterinary Arthroscopy Arthrology Advancement society, or VA3, making him a recognized world leader in veterinary arthroscopy. Hospital GHV provides complete general and advanced pet care, including during extended and Saturday hours. • Acupuncture – Dr. Sara Hann, DVM, CVA, is using acupuncture to provide complimentary care to treat arthritis, lameness, postoperative pain, nerve injury, back and muscle pain, GI problems, lick granulomas, allergies and general wellness. • Laparoscopic surgery – Dr. Madelynn Fell is our goto veterinarian for minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures, including spays. Many clients have heard of these laparoscopic procedures, but don’t realize that GVH is the only hospital in the Gallatin Valley to offer this service. With laparoscopic procedures, the incisions are smaller and less painful for your pet. Dr. Albrecht additionally performs more advanced laparoscopic procedures, such as gastropexies.

• Advanced anesthesia – Our care is based on recommendations from, and consultation with, a board certified Veterinary Anesthesiologist. Every pet that undergoes anesthesia has a dedicated anesthetist whose sole job is to make sure anesthesia runs smoothly and your pet is safe. • Recovery facilities – Uniquely designed anesthesia recovery area and warming kennels that help provide a smoother, gentler recovery after anesthesia. • Oncology – Experienced oncology (cancer care) for pets, from surgery to chemotherapy. • Dental care – From prophylactic cleanings to advanced care, GVH dental care is provided by highly trained doctors and technicians. Doctors Kari Swenson, Sarah Hann and Madelynn Fell have completed training in advanced extractions and restoratives and our dental technicians have been through special dental training to ensure that your pet has the best comprehensive dental care possible. Board certified Veterinary Dentist Dr. Tony Woodward, of Montana Pet Dental, sees clients at GVH as well. • Rehabilitation services –Jen Hill, CCRP, provides rehabilitation services, including laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, e-stim and customized at-home exercises. Sometimes, the best course of action is not surgery. GVH staff, in conjunction with Jen Hill, can work up an individualized plan that might include special hobbles and exercises. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to the your pet’s care. • Digital radiography (X-rays) and digital dental radiography – This technology and our level of expertise allow us to better diagnose and treat your loved ones. Digital images facilitate fast, easy consults by board certified specialists. • Diagnostic ultrasound –Dr. Brit Culver, one of only two board certified Small Animal Internists practicing in Montana, visits monthly to offer this service.

We Care

GVH not only cares for our clients and patients, but also the community, state and world. In the last year, we have teamed up with K-9 Cares Montana to help a wounded warrior, pledging lifelong wellness care for this incredible team. We are also happy to be the top paw sponsor of the 2015 K9-9K, an event where the proceeds go to such worthy causes as the National Canine Cancer Foundation, which is working on ending cancer in our four-legged friends; K-9 Care Montana, which provides service dogs to wounded veterans and those with special needs; and Run Dog Run, an organization advocating for additional off-leash recreation facilities for Bozeman area dog owners. Dr. Albrecht is an adjunct faculty member of the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Gallatin Veterinary Hospital is one of the only facilities in Montana approved to directly train the next generation of veterinarians. We also host student veterinarians and veterinary technician students from across the country. In addition, GVH donates more than $20,000 annually to help pets that can’t help themselves. On a global scale, we are helping build schools for children around the world. We have also donated services to the following shelters: • Heart of the Valley (Bozeman), • Stafford Animal Shelter (Livingston), • Lewis & Clark Humane Society (Helena), • Chelsea Bailey Butte, • Silverbow Animal Shelter (Butte), • Albert’s Angel Fund (Butte), • Bitterroot Humane Society (Hamilton), and • Bassett Rescue of Montana (Missoula). For more information about GVH services or our humanitarian projects, please give us a call at 406.587.4458, visit us at 1635 Reeves Rd. E. or check us out online at

• On-site laboratory services – On-site service provide for fast results for critical care patients and special pricing from Antech for outside services allows for advanced testing with great pricing.



Ancient Roman History travels west to the museum of the rockies By Carol Mealer

Through a lucky twist of fate, the opulent artifacts from two ancient Roman villas near Pompeii are making their way west, to the Museum of the Rockies (MOR) in Bozeman.“Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii” is an exhibition that will dazzle museumgoers of all ages. The excavations at these two ancient Italian villas have revealed the elite Roman lifestyle of the first century BC to AD79, when the eruption of Mount Vesuvius brought an abrupt end to the region’s activity. Opening June 18, 2016 at MOR,“Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii” explores the opulent lifestyle and economic interests of ancient Rome’s wealthiest citizens along the shores of the Bay of Naples. MOR will be one of only three museums in the United States – and the only museum west of the Mississippi – to host the exhibit. While the exhibition will feature the colonnaded architecture, monumental wall paintings, impressive gardens, and sculptures of the wealthy owners of Villa A, it will also highlight the daily activities of the household slaves and economic enterprise run by freemen who enabled and sustained the physical and social fabric of elite villa life. The exhibition will feature over 150 ifacts, ranging from a larger-than-life marble statue of the goddess Nike (found by the 180-foot swimming pool) to a pair of small throwing dice. The antiquities give full-range insight into the lifestyles of the early Roman Empire’s richest inhabitants. So, what lucky twist of fate is bringing these Roman antiquities to our part of the country?

The larger-than-life marble statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, excavated along the 180-foot swimming pool at Villa A.

Professor Regina Gee, of Montana State University’s (MSU) College of Arts and Architecture, is a Romanist. By way of the Greeks, she has come to embrace all things Roman. Dr. Gee has been one of the lead scholars on the archaeological site of The Oplontis Project. Largely in response to the painstaking work that The Oplontis Project team has


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Marble statue of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, excavated in the volcanic ash. Artemis prepared for the trip to Bozeman.

executed over the past ten years, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs for Pompeii has granted permission to bring material finds from the two expansive seaside villas to the United States for a one-time-only loan period. The bulk of these 2,000-year-old artifacts – which includes marble sculptures, fresco fragments, jewelry, coins, and everyday tools – has been in storage and has never previously been exhibited or seen by the public.“What is remarkable about the exhibition is that, for the first time, we will be able to look at the visual record left by Villa A (“of Poppaea”) and Villa B (“of L. Cracius Tertius”) together in all of its intertwined complexity,” explains Professor Gee.“While the index of luxury we have from Villa A exemplifies the delights of leisure, the material finds from Villa B beautifully illustrate the necessity of commerce; they are two sides of the same coin showing how ancient Romans exploited the richness of the Bay of Naples.” The Villas of Oplontis have been revealing their riches, reluctantly and sparingly, for over 800 years. Built around 50 BC, the villas thrived in a time when Julius Caesar walked the streets of Rome. They were part of a neighborhood of remarkable residences stretched along the Bay of Naples. Recently, while at the archaeological site, Professor Gee commented that Vesuvius had to “bury the region in order to preserve the region.” If not for the over 50 feet of pyroclastic surge from the Mount Vesuvius eruption on August 24, AD79 that instantaneously buried the area, there would be no story and no insight into this Roman opulence. Remarkably, we have

Above: The entrance to Villa A, Torre Annunziata, Italy. Right: MSU Professor Regina Gee working on material finds at Oplontis and teaching on Second Style frescoes in Villa A.

a story about the life and death of two ancient Roman villas on the Bay of Naples, preserved and, now, revealed. Villa A is believed to have belonged to the second wife of Emperor Nero, Poppaea Sabina. National Geographic recently called Nero,“Rome’s Bad Boy.” He is known for watching Rome burn and then resurrecting that prime real estate from the ashes for his own purposes, including building his monumental pleasure palace, the Domus Aurea. Archaeological excavations reveal an amphora having an inscription that reads, “(Se)cundo Poppaeae” meaning “To Secundus, Slave of Poppaea.” Because of this, it is believed that Villa A, also known as Villa Poppaea, was owned by her family. Well over 50 painted rooms have been excavated in Villa A. Many of these exquisite frescoes had to be pieced back together due to the force of the pyroclastic surges from Mount Vesuvius that toppled the walls and, ultimately, buried the villa.“As an art historian, I’ve always been fascinated by how Villa A functioned as stage for entertainment on a nearly unimaginable scale,” said Professor Gee in a recent interview.“Its marble-sheathed surfaces, extravagant water features, gardens, and magnificent sea and mountain views communicate a standard for the refined leisurely experience the Romans called otium, that I doubt we could match today if we tried.” Four different styles of Roman fresco wall painting have been identified and Villa A seems to have an abundance of Second Style and Fourth Style decoration. The Oplontis Project’s research has been able to identify the school of Boscoreale as the source of the artists that originally painted Villa A.



Examples of the Second Style frescoes of the school of Boscoreale found in Villa A.

Just as impressive, a 180-foot swimming pool surrounded by marble sculptures and a peristyle frescoed walkway was unearthed at the villa. One can only imagine how impressed guests were at a grand function there. Villa A was uninhabited at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD79. It appears that the villa was undergoing renovations, perhaps from the great earthquake in AD62. During the spring of 2014, the idea came about to develop interdisciplinary curricula across the MSU campus and throughout the Bozeman community that would use MOR as a learning space. Originally, it was assumed that faculty might need convincing of the exciting potential of the exhibit as a foundation for learning. However, neither MSU faculty, nor Bozeman public school teachers, needed convincing about the exhibition’s importance with regard to learning.

The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii.” Classes will create vibrant and unexpected links between the ancient Roman Bay of Naples and the Yellowstone region by exploring topics related to volcanic activity, the constructions of cultural identity around the ideal forms of agrarianism/ agriculture, the “romanticism” of real and painted landscapes, tourism and infrastructure, and the privileged “consumption” of exquisite landscapes as a leisure activity.“It is our hope that this becomes a new model for multiple disciplines to use the museum as a learning space, whether the exhibition is historical, artistic, or scientific in nature,“ MSU Assistant Professor Dean Adams recently explained.

Professor Gee led a diverse group of educators on an amazing trip of development, discovery, and connections around the Bay of Naples during their seminar entitled,“Comparative Studies on the Ecosystems and Social Systems of the Yellowstone Region and the Bay of Naples.” Participants represented agriculture, biosciences, philosophy, earth science, freshmen seminar, Project Archeology, education, MOR, classics, architecture, K-12, and art. The Oplontis exhibition at MOR will offer students at MSU and throughout the region a unique opportunity to experience the museum as an integral part of their classes across multiple disciplines. Currently, many area students learn through field trips to cultural institutions in the area, including MOR. There is no denying the value of field trips, but imagine the depth of an immersive class experience, where the museum is an extension of the classroom or the laboratory. During the Fall 2016 semester, many classes across MSU and in the area schools will use MOR as an active research and learning space. Students will regularly inhabit the museum as part of their studies for classes at all levels, from disciplines across campus. Students will discover things about themselves, the Yellowstone ecosystem, and the world through scholarly study of the exhibition Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero:


Montana Historian

The Comparative Studies group at their hotel in Pompeii.

The exhibition “Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii” is unparalleled in our region’s museum history. It is a rare insight into Roman elite lifestyles and a unique and wide-reaching approach to the learning environment. The exhibition opens at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana on June 18, 2016 and will remain open for six months. This is certainly a special opportunity for an in-depth look at life on the Bay of Naples in Roman times, right here in the West!

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“The Greatest Piece of Road in America�

The Beartooth Highway By Jon Axline

A Yellowstone National Park tour bus stops to let its riders admire Beartooth Butte and lake, circa 1940. Warner F. Clapp photograph. Carbon County Historical Society. Red Lodge, Montana.


Montana Historian

The Beartooth Highway is among the most scenic roads in the lower 48 states. Designated an “All-American Road” by the Federal Highway Administration in 2002, the 68-mile highway across the “top of the world” between Red Lodge and Cooke City in south central Montana is an engineering marvel. From Red Lodge, the Beartooth Highway climbs up the side of the Beartooth Plateau, through a series of switchbacks, to Beartooth Pass at an altitude of 10,947 feet. It then zigzags past mountain lakes down the plateau through Wyoming and Cooke City, terminating at the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The spectacular scenery of the route can be overpowering to motorists, leading a writer to observe in 1936 that “every hundred yards reveal a new vista, a new wonderland that fairly begs for the camera to set down what the eye can hardly credit.”

Most Montana highways, including the Beartooth Highway, follow routes established long ago by Native Americans. Civil War General Phil Sheridan and a 120-man escort traveled over the plateau after a visit to Yellowstone National Park in 1882. Four years later, the Rocky Fork Coal Company established a coalmine on Rock Creek – at the foot of the Beartooths – leading to the establishment of Red Lodge. The presence of gold mines in the mountains near Cooke City caused Red Lodge boosters to advocate the construction of a road over the mountains between the two mining camps. It was not until 1919, however, that the Montana State Highway Commission and Carbon County cooperated to build a highway across the plateau. Called the Black & White Trail, it worked its way up the mountainside over 13 switchbacks, nearly reaching the top of the plateau in 1921. Changes in federal priorities for highway funds caused the abandonment of the unfinished road by 1924. The failure of the trail did little to deter the efforts of Red Lodge boosters to build a road to Cooke City. In 1924, physician J.C.F. Siegfriedt and Carbon County News publisher O.H.P. Shelley began an all-out political campaign – both locally and in Washington DC – to secure federal funding for the road. In Washington, Shelley emphasized the importance

of a highway between Red Lodge and the Cooke City mines and stressed the potential for a new entrance to Yellowstone National Park, enlisting the aid of National Park Service superintendent Horace Albright in his efforts. Albright not only wanted to increase visitation to Yellowstone, but also eliminate heavy truck traffic between Cooke City and Gardiner. Siegfriedt and Shelley’s efforts culminated on January 31, 1931 when President Herbert Hoover signed the National Parks Approach Roads Act into law. The Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) planned to build the project under four contracts between 1931 and 1934. The federal agency awarded the first two contracts, for Segments A and B, in August 1931. Segment A began about 11 miles south of Red Lodge and would work its way up the side of Rock Creek Canyon for 12 miles to the top of the plateau. Segment B began at the Nordquist

Ranch in Wyoming and would connect with Segment A near Twin Lakes sometime in late 1932. Both segments would be difficult, involving considerable rock excavation and the construction of switchbacks, bridges and retaining walls. The Boise, Idaho-based Morrison-Knudsen Company won the contract for Segment A, while Segment B went to the McNutt & Pyle Company of Portland, Oregon. Both contractors quickly mobilized their forces and began work on the road within a few weeks of winning the contracts. The BPR awarded contracts in 1932 to build the connections to Yellowstone Park and Red Lodge. Both Morrison-Knudsen and Pyle & McNutt used the same method for building the road. Both employed three power shovels. The lead shovel, called the “pioneer,” broke ground ahead of the other two as it excavated a rough path up the mountainside. The following machines widened the path into a road. Bulldozers and an army of pick and shovel men followed the power shovels. Blasting crews worked ahead of the pioneer shovels. On the Montana side of the road, there was little room to maneuver for the pioneer shovels and the dump trucks. Drivers headed their trucks toward the shovel, which loaded the excavated material into the trucks over the cabs. The drivers then backed down the path and dumped the material over the embankment. During this process, two trucks backed up



too far and went over the side of the road. Bulldozers graded the road and kept it “in such a condition that a passenger car could travel over the job at a speed of 25-30 miles per hour at all times.” The hand crews brought up the rear, prying off loose rocks and smoothing the road in preparation for the gravel and asphalt surfacing. The Morrison-Knudsen team made steady progress up the side of Rock Creek Canyon, building six switchbacks during the 1931 season. Segment B required fewer switchbacks, but the road was just as treacherous. Workers for both contractors gave descriptive names to features along the road, including Mae West Curve, Frozen Man’s Curve, Lunch Meadow and High Lonesome Ridge. Those names still mark the road’s landscape. The Morrison-Knudsen workers lived in a temporary camp established on Rock Creek (now the site of the Custer National Forest’s M-K Campground) south of Red Lodge. McNutt & Pyle moved its camp as construction progressed. The Morrison-Knudsen camp consisted of prefabricated wooden buildings that provided barracks for the workers, individual lodgings for the foremen and their families, a mess hall, cook house, storage buildings and machine shops. Poker entertained the men during the off-shift hours. The cooks supplemented the camp menus with trout and venison. Both contractors worked two eighthour shifts. During that first construction season, Morrison-Knudsen worked through the winter, but snow forced McNutt & Pyle to suspend operations for the season in December. While unforeseen problems on the 25-mile Segment B caused McNutt & Pyle to fall behind schedule, Morrison-Knudsen completed its work on Segment A by the end of the 1932 construction season. The company then got the contract to build the connecting road between the north end of Segment A and the highway south of Red Lodge. Winston Brothers built the road between the Nordquist Ranch in Wyoming and the Yellowstone National Park boundary in 1933. Other contractors surfaced and paved the highway. By late 1935, all the segments had been completed. The final cost of the highway was about $2.5 million (just over $45 million in 2015 dollars). The Beartooth Highway officially opened to traffic on June 14, 1936.


Montana Historian

Left: Morrison-Knudsen Company employees named many road features on the Beartooth Highway as they worked their way up the side of Rock Creek Canyon to the top of the plateau. They named Mae West Curves for a popular and curvy movie star of the time. Carbon County Historical Society. Red Lodge, Montana. Below: Even before construction began on the Beartooth Highway, promoters ballyhooed the scenic opportunities the highway would offer tourists. An unknown postcard photographer is, photographed by Warner F. Clapp. Carbon County Historical Society. Red Lodge, Montana.

For 80 years the Beartooth Highway has thrilled, frightened and awed motorists. Open seasonally – from Memorial Day to early October – Charles Kuralt described the highway as “the most beautiful drive in America.” The Montana Department of Transportation and the National Park Service currently maintain the Beartooth Highway. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the spectacular Beartooth Highway is a testimonial to the vision of those who fought for its construction and a tribute to those who pushed for and built this road “perched jauntily on canyon walls and the brink of some of nature’s most awesome precipices.” Jon Axline is the historian at the Montana Department of Transportation in Helena. He is a graduate of Montana State University and is currently working on a book about the Beartooth Highway.



Montana Pioneer and Businessman

In November 1863, an enterprising young man, Walter Cooper, headed to Montana Territory where he would spend the rest of his life. Born on July 4th, 1843 in Sterling, Cayuga County, New York, Cooper’s path west started in the fall of 1858 at the age of fifteen when he reached Leavenworth, Kansas. By February of 1859 he was on his way to Pikes Peak, Colorado for the gold rush. The next year at seventeen, he joined a prospecting expedition to the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The summer of 1862 found him near Colorado Springs where he at times acted as a scout for the First Colorado Regiment. 1864 found him in Virginia City, Montana Territory mining in the famous Alder Gulch. That spring he took a freight outfit north to Fort Benton where he expected to pick up a load of freight from a steamboat. The Missouri River was so low however that few boats reached Fort Benton and Cooper returned to Virginia City with empty wagons in August. Disposing of them, he fitted out a team with supplies for the coming winter and headed into the Missouri River region where he spent that winter hunting. It was probably at this time that Cooper trapped with Jim Bridger and learned a lot from him in their winter camp for years later he wrote of his friendship with the famous mountain man. Late in his life, Cooper recorded a brief history of his early days in undated and unpublished fragments of a manuscript that is in the possession of Montana State University in Bozeman. From these I learned that he established his business in Bozeman in December 1868,“the first house of this kind started in the State or rather Territory of Montana for handling and manufacturing guns, ammunition, and fishing tackle.” His business, “Cooper’s Armory,” grew rapidly as Bozeman was centrally located for trade with hunters both red and white, with friendly tribes passing through the region hunting buffalo. Cooper became extensively engaged in the handling of hides, robes, and furs and Bozeman

grew to become second only to Fort Benton in importance as a shipping point for them. Indian-tanned buffalo robes were much in demand in the east for lap robes at a time when nearly everyone traveled in horse-drawn open vehicles during the coldest months of the year. The finest single shot long range hunting rifles then being produced were made by the Sharps Rifle Company in Hartford, Conn. and Cooper began advertising in Bozeman’s first newspaper, The Avant Courier, in December 1871 that he was the “agent for Sharps Sporting Rifles.” An early Sharps Co. catalog listed a testimonial from Walter Cooper dated April 9, 1872 “Those four guns you sent me take the eye of everyone. They outshoot anything ever brought to this country. I won a bet of ten dollars the other day on penetration against an army musket, called the Springfield Needle Gun here. Shot the same powder and shot two inches deeper into wood.” With the Sioux and Cheyenne roving the plains of eastern Montana almost unchallenged in the early 1870s, white hunters were afraid to venture far from civilization and Cooper’s gun business was not nearly as active as he had expected. Cooper soon found himself deeply in debt to the Sharps Rifle Co. for the huge stock of their rifles he had purchased. It was not until the last of the hostile Sioux had fled to Canada in 1876-77 and the surrender of the Nez Perce in 1877, that the buffalo ranges of Montana and the Dakotas were opened for the final chapter of buffalo hunting: the decimation and near extinction of the northern herd. Cooper’s shop re-barreled Sharps rifles with worn-out bores and often equipped them with a superior rear buckhorn sight and a front blade sight that Cooper had patented. The majority of Cooper Sharps buffalo rifles weighed 12 to 16 lbs. and were chambered in .45/100 or .40/90 caliber. Heavy rifles were more accurate at longer ranges. Some Cooper Sharps had a safety feature – a rebounding hammer and many had a fancy pewter forearm cap.

Bozeman, MT circa 1875 Credit: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, MT

The most famous Montanan grubstaked by Walter Cooper was Andrew Garcia who wrote in an autobiographical book, Tough Trip Through Paradise, “I had to buy a buffalo gun. Like the Chinamen who took the largest sized boot if it was the same price as the smaller size to get more leather for the money, I bought a .45-120 caliber Sharps rifle buffalo gun, which weighed over fifteen pounds and cost seventy-five dollars, although I could have gotten a lighter .45-90 No. 13 for the same price.” Later, in the Big Hole Valley of SW Montana, with his terrified Nez Perce wife at his side, Garcia shot an enormous grizzly at night in the firelight just outside their tent with that Sharps rifle purchased from Walter Cooper. Cooper next turned to civic ventures as one of the incorporators

of the city of Bozeman. He was the first president of their Board of Trade and was elected to the Constitutional Convention on the admission of Montana to the Union in 1889 where he played a significant role. He was the founder of the towns of Red Lodge, Laurel, and Bridger. He organized a company that supplied Bozeman with its water system and developed the large coal fields of Rocky Fork. He was also active in mining ventures and organized one of the largest flouring mills in the state. Walter Cooper died in 1924 and though there is a park in Bozeman named for him, he’s remembered most today for his connection with Sharps rifles, perhaps his least successful venture financially. Written by Ralph A. Heinz

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Do You Wish to Speak with the Dead For a moment, imagine yourself a woman in 1863. You’re the mother of five children, but you gave birth to eight. Three, along with your husband, died a few years back in the yellow fever epidemic and you’ve just received word that your oldest son was killed in the war. Now, if someone told you they could talk to the dead, wouldn’t you listen? If you multiply that experience 100,000 times over, then you will begin to understand why spiritualism – the belief in contacting the dead – took hold of the American public through the seemingly incessant tragedies of the 19th century.

movements of abolition, women’s rights and child labor. Just as these journals were the medium for the message of spiritualism, spiritualism itself became the medium for the message of reform.



On a March night in 1848, Mr. and Mrs. Fox escorted their daughters, 11-year-old Kate and 13-year-old Maggie, to bed in their modest Hydesville, New York house. The Foxes had noticed an increasing rapping sound in the house. When Mrs. Fox was checking on the girls later that evening, she found Kate snapping her fingers. Identical raps promptly followed the snapping. At that moment, Mr. and Mrs. Fox sensed the house creaks may be coming from a disembodied spirit.

However, no reports of any local spiritualist activities appeared until about the mid-1870s, when some Montana newspapers crossed over to the dark side and started reporting, with increasing interest and credulity, on several spiritualist activities in the state. It’s through these accounts that we can begin to piece together the story of spiritualism in Montana. The following offers a few examples.


The story immediately hit the local papers, then the national papers. In a short time, the Fox sisters were touring the country as mediums, contacting dead loved ones and channeling deceased spirits for evergrowing audiences. This was the birth of spiritualism.

In Bozeman, Bozeman’s own Mrs. Emma Hoffbauer Mounts, who became nationally known in spiritualist circles as Montana’s “Mountain Medium,” performed spiritual manifestations and healings. Emma’s spiritual powers were awakened while she was gripped with a life threatening illness. In December of 1874, Emma was suddenly taken ill. The local physician diagnosed her as having dropsy of the heart – which today would be called pulmonary edema – or swelling of the heart due to fluids. In the 19th century, dropsy of the heart was a virtual death sentence and was commonly reported as a cause of death.

Soon, other mediums appeared, supported by a number of spiritualist journals that helped spread the word of spiritualism, while offering commentary on topics of the day, including the popular reform

Emma’s doctor had pronounced her case hopeless and left her dying in the arms of her husband when three spiritualists in town

Once a pattern of communication was established over the course of a few days, “Mr. Splitfoot” (as Kate came to call him) revealed to a growing audience that, in life, he had been an itinerant tinsmith who, while stopping at the house, had been brutally killed by the previous owner and buried in the basement.


Spiritualism’s origin and progress across the country was known in Montana. Newspapers throughout the territory regularly reported events and accounts of spiritual practitioners with a decidedly skeptical tone. Early accounts through the 1860s reported of spiritualists who poisoned their children or killed their families. In denigration, politicians were called spiritualists. Spiritualism was joked about and even used as a means of selling another type of “spirit,” as in this ad for a Deer Lodge saloon.

Montana Historian

held a séance asking the spirits for help. The spirits asked for paper to be magnetized and placed on Mrs. Mounts affected parts. This done, her pain immediately ceased and her spirit site was awakened. She began channeling eight spirits, one of whom – a deceased physician – was named Dr. Kellogg. Dr. Kellogg helped Emma become a healing medium, prescribing herbal and magnetic treatments for patients in Bozeman who had been abandoned by the local physicians. Emma Mounts Mounts Family Portrait was able to prove her abilities to the community through an incident that happened during her recovery from dropsy. Dr. Kellogg had told her that her young child had swallowed a pin. Emma could see the pin in the child’s body with her spirit sight. She gathered a group of local residents together and predicted exactly when and where the pin would emerge. After several weeks of monitoring the child, the pin poked its head out of the exact spot at the exact time predicted. The story hit the local papers and a heated debate over the authenticity of spiritualism raged in the local papers.


Mrs. Belle Chamberlain was an already established trance-speaker working the northeast corridor circuit as a paid lecturer when she came to Bozeman in October of 1878. She was kicking off a yearlong tour of Montana with a two-week engagement in Bozeman speaking for the Young Men’s Library Association. She would soon come to make Bozeman her home. Belle Chamberlain was praised as an engaging and eloquent speaker by both spiritualists and non-spiritualists alike. Belle spoke on a number of topics, but often the topics were chosen by a committee of audience members, ensuring that it was the spirits, not Belle herself, who were discussing the subjects at hand. As a trance speaker, Belle channeled a cadre of spirits who spoke through her on the topics required. She also would “see” spirits near audience members and would share their messages with the living. Belle did, however, have some regular topics that she spoke on, with spirit assistance, and those that weren’t proselytizing spiritualism concerned women’s lives. Two popular topics were “Man and Woman” and “Love, Courtship and Marriage.” It was probably one of these topics that drew a Mrs. Sally Blunt and her friend, Mrs. Straight, to a lecture one evening. A letter to the editor of the

Bozeman Avant Courier by her husband William indicated that he was not too happy with the theme of the lecture on which Belle had spoken. It seemed that he had returned home late that night from a board meeting to find that his wife had made up the guest bed for him, where she told him he would be sleeping from now on. She said that Mrs. Chamberlain had suggested that it was unhealthy for husbands and wives to sleep in the same bed. Mr. Blunt wrote the letter to the paper the next day, stating that he objected to these lectures as “the women know a sight too much already.” Belle retired from trance-speaking and settled in Bozeman where she had married local judge Joseph J. Davis. She changed her name to Mrs. Mabel Davis and became active in the community. She coached the local high school debate team and helped found the Bozeman Liberal Union along with such prominent local citizens as Nelson Story, Daniel Rouse and Rev. Matthew Alderson. Women like Emma Mounts and Belle Chamberlain found selfempowerment and -expression through spiritualism, which gave women a public face and voice in a time of limited access. Mrs. Emma Mounts found medical alternatives to the inadequate and dangerous medical practices of the local physicians. Mrs. Belle Chamberlain offered a voice for women across the state. It’s hard to imagine women getting the vote in 1919 without the force and power of the spiritualists, who were able to spread the message of suffrage to people who may not otherwise have taken notice.



"Having Swell Time" The Bozeman Oaks Softball Team of 1938 By Marietta Johnstone, Margie Johnstone Nelsen and Marcia Melton

Left: Bill Johnstone. Above: Adam Johnstone, Bill Johnstone and John Saksa (left to right) on their way to play ball.


Montana Historian

In 1938, a fast pitch softball team sponsored by the Oaks Cigar Store in Bozeman, Montana went to the World Amateur Softball Championship Tournament in Chicago. Bozeman sportswriters promised that this team was the one to “carry the hopes of Montana softball fans into the first round of the national – and world’s championships.” In the 1930s, softball was popular in Montana. The Great Depression had hit hard, with a suffering agricultural sector, mining industry layoffs and an exodus of citizens dreaming of opportunities on the west coast. Softball offered fun and affordable entertainment for players and spectators. Local businesses sponsored teams and Montana newspapers fueled the fire, gleefully covering the hometown games and heroes, regional play and a state tournament. The Oaks Cigar Store was a popular hangout on Bozeman’s Main Street. The players on the team it sponsored were schoolteachers, coaches, businessmen, engineers, clerks and salesmen. Some of the group had even been former teammates, classmates and fraternity brothers at Montana State College. The team’s linchpin, Bill Johnstone, was a tall, rangy, affable leader with a windmill pitch, which earned him the nicknames “Iron Man Johnstone” and “Windmill Hurler.” One year out of college and a young teacher, administrator and Belgrade coach, he was already a pitcher taken seriously in Montana athletic circles. He played both baseball and softball games with an equally solid pitch. Like many Montana players, several generations of his family had been playing baseball and traveling long Montana distances around the state to find opponents. He was a natural to lead a group of competitive players. In 1938, after a 41-5 season, the Oaks qualified for the Montana State Tournament to be held in Billings. The Billings Gazette described the threat they presented: “Bozeman Oaks, champions of district six of the Montana Softball Association, are bringing a tough team and a very tough pitcher here for the state tournament…. Although the team itself is very good, the standout is Pitcher Bill Johnstone, who has hurled two no-hitters this season… He has chalked up 218 strikeouts in 183 innings.” The tournament was anticipated to be “one of the most exciting athletic contests ever held in Billings.” The championship game was between the Oaks and the Billings Young Democrats. The pitchers were Johnstone and Paul Callow, a nationally recognized Washington State

College student brought in to boost Billings’ chances. The styles of the two pitchers were very different. One reporter noted,“Paul could throw hard, make the ball rise, curve it in or out….Bill didn’t attempt to finesse opposing batters. He simply blew the ball by them with tremendous speed.” Nationally known baseball player Gordon Stanley “Mickey” Cochrane, the manager and catcher of the Detroit Tigers who had Montana connections, was contacted to throw out the first ball. He agreed and quipped that no fee was necessary, but that someone could buy him a drink. Mickey gave the fans a show by warming up with the players and, later, the Montanans made good on Cochrane’s request with a case of 100 proof Kentucky Bourbon waiting for him in his car. The game went into extra innings, but the Oaks prevailed. At the end, the huge crowd (by Montana standards) had gone wild. The Chronicle described the scene: “When Johnstone struck out that last man, nearly half the crowd of about 3,000 fans swarmed onto the field and wrung his hand until he could not have tossed a ball 20 feet.” The victory pumped up the Oaks to set their sights on the national tournament. They had to be in Chicago by September 7th. They had one week to raise funds (a daunting task and trip in 1938), determine their route to Chicago by car, and get time off from their jobs. There were some last-minute cliffhangers when three of the players were uncertain if they could get time off from their jobs for the trip. In the end, all of the Oaks but one made the trip. A caravan of cars and trailers adorned with advertisements of Bozeman and the Gallatin Way to Yellowstone National Park headed east on September 3rd. The team took along a mess of Rocky Mountain trout caught in the Gallatin River – all of them over three pounds in weight – to present to Chicago Mayor Edward J. Kelly. They played two exhibition games along the route to generate funds. Cassius Kirk, Vice President of the Bozeman Canning Company, sent a letter to Mr. Jack Lynch of the American Can Company in Chicago, in which he introduced the Montana boys and requested a favor: “I don’t think any of the crowd have ever been in a city where there are stop and go signs…If it is possible I would like you to send one of your boys down and take them out to dinner at some night club where the tariff is not too high, and send me the bill. I know you would get a kick out of seeing twenty Montana boys who are so green and honest that they still believe in Santa Claus.”



The Montana players made a splash when they hit the city. Jimmy Corcoran, a reporter for the Chicago American, described them as,“Robust chaps, chins high – the stride of the out-of-doors.” The tournament’s attractions for its 2,000 contestants included fast pitching exhibitions, a mayor’s welcome, and a parade of stars featuring Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and Benny Goodman. Men’s and women’s clubs from 44 states and Canada attended. Montana was represented by the Oaks and the Garden City Floral Girls Team from Missoula. The games for both Montana teams were scheduled at the same time, with the Missoula girls playing Racine, Wisconsin, and the Oaks meeting Washington, D.C. Because it was a single elimination tournament, stakes were high. The Oaks drew a tough competitor in the Washington team, who had bested 5,000 softball clubs in the capital city to get there. The Oaks fought hard to prevail against the tough Washington team by a 2-1 victory. As the Chronicle reported for the waiting fans,“It was through the efforts of an ever-alert defense, the big bat of Harold Sadler, an opposing pitcher who ‘blew up’ when the going got too tough, and the long arm of ‘Iron Man’ Bill Johnstone that the Oaks squeezed by Washington. Johnstone allowed but three hits in eight innings.”

Fort Benton girls baseball 1909 Nora Harber, catcher (Bill Johnstone's aunt), Isabel Morrow, pitcher at the side of the Harber home

Telegrams captured the sweet victory when Johnstone wrote to his mother, “Won our game against Washington DC today 2 to 1 in eight innings - They got 3 hits – having swell time – real city.” A Belgrade fan, Marjorie Price (who later became Bill’s wife), wrote back,“Congratulations – Belgrade all agog.”


Montana Historian

The Missoula girls lost to Racine, but the Oaks hung on, drawing Little Rock, Arkansas. The first inning of the game against Little Rock plagued the Oaks when a homerun brought in two runs. After that inning, Iron Man Johnstone kicked in and Arkansas was held scoreless. Still, the Oaks were only able to gain one run and the game ended in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss. A lengthy newspaper report provided the sad postgame analysis for waiting Montana fans. Muddy footing and puddles of water had hampered the game, but the Oaks’ Tom Genty offered no alibis as he said,“I do believe that had we won that game we could have gone on to the finals just as Little Rock did.” The tournament championship was won by Pohler’s Café, Cincinnati, Ohio. Bill Johnstone, 1938

Despite the heartbreaker, the Oaks stayed on in Chicago to have the fun Cassius Kirk had lined up for them. They attended a Chicago-Cincinnati National League baseball game and were hosted at a Chicago banquet. Bozeman gave them a hero’s welcome home and the Oaks players valiantly promised to be back again next season for another trip to Chicago. But times and lives have a way of changing. All too soon, the 1940s brought World War II and indelible changes in the world for young men in their 20s and 30s. Some of the players’ names continued to appear on softball team rosters. Bill Johnstone was inducted into the Billings Softball Hall of Fame and the Montana Softball Hall of Fame in Lewistown. He went on to contribute a lifetime to Montana education and sports, serving as a public school and university administrator, as well as Acting President of both MSU and MSU-B. Many of the Oaks were loyal supporters of Montana athletic teams in various sports, encountering each other at games and reunions. The friendships formed through softball lasted throughout their lives, and they never tired of telling the story of the trip to Chicago in 1938. Currently, the American Softball Association notes that more than 40 million people enjoy playing softball, making it the No. 1 team participant sport in the United States. The Worth Book of Softball states confidently that,“Softball is the most popular team sport in modern history because almost everyone fits into a uniform.” On any given summer evening – in towns and cities throughout Montana – the air is punctuated by the sounds of cheers, the crack of the bat and the calls of the umpires. It’s softball season, bringing with it each team’s hopes to repeat the success of the Oaks and have a year like 1938. Marietta Johnstone, Margie Johnstone Nelsen, and Marcia Melton are the daughters and stepdaughter of Bill Johnstone. They live in the Bozeman area.

take an adventure through time in historic bozeman with

The Extreme History Project By Marsha Fulton and Crystal Alegria Embark on an adventure! Not to a place, but through time, into the historic past. The Extreme History Project invites you to travel through Bozeman’s history on an Adventure through Time walking tour. History is all around us here in Bozeman. Our historic streets, institutions and neighborhoods shaped the settlement of the West and the building of our nation. If you take time to notice the buildings – both residential and business – the street names and the town grid, you will see that Bozeman history weaves its way into our daily lives. The Extreme History Project is a local public history organization that finds interesting and engaging ways to bring history to the public. In partnership with several local history organizations, The Extreme History Project has developed a series of walking tours in and around downtown Bozeman that highlight various aspects of its illustrious past. Historic walking tours provide an excuse to slow down, look around and notice building details previously undetected in the daily hustle. Closer observations reveal architectural details, including cornices, turrets and columns. A walking tour turns a walk down Main Street or in a historic residential area into a learning experience delving into the historical aspects of the community. You will learn about the men and women who called this place home and paved the way (and the streets) to today’s Bozeman. You’ll learn when buildings were built, who built them and why. You’ll see the imprint of many lives upon the streets, buildings, street signs and institutions. You’ll discover that the church tower bell was donated by a woman who not only was betrayed by her husband, but lost her children. And that the town’s barber was born in Haiti. How was his life here in this Wild West town? Did he experience racism during the volatile years after the civil war? You’ll also be introduced to a woman who owned her own restaurant and purchased goods from the local dry goods store during a time when unmarried women had little opportunity. These

details give life to our community’s past, bringing us closer to our “place.” Each of our walking tours takes you on a journey to an aspect of Bozeman’s past, covering Bozeman’s history from 12,000 years ago to the early railway days of the 1900s. Tours focus on Bozeman’s historic Main Street (“Tents to Town”), dark side (“Murders, Madams, and Mediums), south side (“Gracious Gables” and “In Praise of Bozeman: Historic Churches”), residential areas (“Family Matters) and Sunset Hills Cemetery (“Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past”). Other explorations include “Bozeman’s Historic African American Community” and our “Working Class Hero: Bozeman’s Historic Tracy District” tours. We are always developing new tours, so check out our website to see what we have coming up in 2016. History comes to life when you are standing in the place where it happened. Join the Extreme History Project for one of these fascinating tours and you will experience Bozeman’s history in a brand new way, one that’s guaranteed to make a lasting impression. The Bozeman of today exists on the building blocks of its people, places and events that came before, each adding a path to its present. To understand Bozeman, we must understand its past. Only then can we forge a road to the future. Adventure through Time walking tours run from May through August. Tours are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and children 12 and under are free of charge. We have private group rates and school group rates. For more information, visit our website at or email us directly at info@ Find us on Facebook at Adventure through Time! We hope to see you this summer on a historic Bozeman walking tour!



First Madison Valley Bank Supporting and Growing Communities throughout Southwest Montana Peter T. Combs was the visionary behind establishing First Madison Valley Bank in Ennis, Montana. It was a late summer afternoon in 1964 when Peter stopped by the RF DYE Cadillac Dealership in Bozeman to visit with his good friend and colleague, Bob Dye. It has been said that Peter had one too many martinis and made the proclamation of opening a bank in Ennis. Perceiving the need for a more localized means for area residents to obtain financial services, a state charter was applied for and granted in 1965. The bank opened, without FDIC Insurance, on Main Street Ennis in a small historical single-story building with no indoor plumbing. The vacant lot behind the building hosted an outhouse. The organizing directors of the bank included Peter T. Combs, Robert F. Dye, H.E. Rakeman and James E. Robertson. Within a year, the building was modernized and several years later was significantly expanded. Following the opening of the bank in Ennis, an opportunity was recognized for affiliate benefits with another bank to share administrative expenses and partner on lending opportunities. Boulder, Montana, had twice the population of Ennis. A state facility located there was providing a substantial payroll for the community and the closest banking facility for local customers was in Helena, 30 miles away. In 1966, a separate charter was applied for and granted. First Boulder Valley Bank opened in February 1967. Between 1987 and 1999, First Madison Valley Bank in Ennis leveraged their local identity and made banking more convenient for its customers. In 1994, a downtown drive through facility was opened and ATM depositories were built in showcase buildings on the main streets of Ennis, Harrison, Sheridan and Virginia City during this period. In 1994 permission was granted to establish a branch banking facility for First Boulder Valley Bank in Montana City, a fast growing suburb of Helena, the capital of Montana. The Montana City branch opened in 1995 attracting consumers, commercial customers and mortgage business driven by major population growth in this desirable area.


Montana Historian

New opportunity was granted to expand the reach of First Madison V alley Bank to West Yellowstone and its surrounding communities in 1998. The town was experiencing rapid growth and there was only one other bank in the market. Yellowstone Basin Bank was established as a branch on February 25, 1998, when the bank opened in temporary quarters. In September of the same year a handsome new 2,400 square foot facility was completed. A milestone was reached in 2007 when First Madison Valley Bank of Ennis moved into a new modern facility across the main street from the old bank. The move enabled management to close the downtown drive through facility and consolidate teller functions and data processing under one roof. Benefits resulted from completing this ambitious project, foremost among them was added efficiency, higher levels of confidentiality and more space to better serve customers and the community. The building and the beautifully maintained main street park host a multitude of community events throughout each year. The Combs family philosophy of sharing responsibility for sustaining the communities their banks serve and lending support to the social, cultural and intellectual institutions depended upon by the communities gives real definition to the true spirit of rural community banking. For these reasons, in 2006, the Combs family was awarded a MSU College of Business Family Business Award. In 2009, First Boulder Valley Bank and First Madison Valley Bank merged their separate state charters to take advantage of more efficiencies. Local identification with each market has been retained. With Peter’s passing in December of 2012, owners Timothy and Bruce Combs are banking on the future of Southwest Montana.

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Banking on the Future of The Loop since 1965. ATM Loop locations in Harrison ¡ Virginia City Sheridan ¡ Ennis 406.682.4215

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Ellen Theatre

Strand Union Building and Theater • Bozeman Montana State University boasts the paranormal presence of two apparitions. In the early 1970s, the theater director sustained a head injury after falling down a backstage staircase and is said to have suffered severe mood swings thereafter, which eventuated in his suicide via a prop pistol loaded with real bullets. Reported experiences of his presence range from uneasy feelings in his office to black phantom sightings throughout the theater. The popular Strand Union building is also said to house a ghostly presence in the form of a woman who reportedly hanged herself in the ballroom in the 1930s. She has been seen in the theater as well.

17 West Main Street • Bozeman Built by the Story family and named after its matriarch, the Ellen Theatre first opened in 1919. The apparition of a past patron has purportedly been seen throughout this locally favored theatre.

Montana Ale Works

Livingston Depot

611 East Main Street • Bozeman In addition to being the popular home to fantastic food, spirits and billiards, the former industrial warehouse Montana Ale Works also allegedly houses a railroad employee who was killed in a machinery accident therein. Staff and diner sightings of a floating male apparition in a checked shirt in the bar area, jazz music and the sounds of people talking after closing hours have all been reported since his death.

John Bozeman's Bistro 125 West Main Street • Bozeman The building that houses this notable bistro was constructed in around 1905, and staff working here admit that the building is haunted by an unseen entity. The presence has been known to turn lights on and off, walk across freshly mopped floors and move objects such as cutlery around the restaurant.

Gallatin Gateway Inn (below) 74605 Gallatin Road • Gallatin Gateway Like the Sacajawea Hotel, the Spanish stucco-style Gallatin Gateway Inn was initially built as a railroad hotel. Opened on June 18, 1927, the inn was constructed and operated by The Milwaukee Road and connected to the railroad company’s main line at Three Forks, MT. The Inn has played host to range of businesses, visitors and events over the last century, not the least of which being the three reported apparitions wandering its grounds, each with its own distinct presence: a murdered female housekeeper has been seen standing behind guests; a male presence has been known to turn lights on and off, move objects and play the piano; and an unseen icy presence has apparently physically pushed staff and guests around. Image courtesy of the Gallatin History Museum

Bear Canyon Campground 4000 Bozeman Trail Rd • Bozeman Reports from this popular local campground claim the presence of a white-clad little girl who is said to try to convince female visitors to follow her. 200 West Park Street • Livingston In addition to seeing various ghostly “regulars” within and without this railway stop, Depot staff have reported hearing a train pulling into the station and seeing ghostly figures running towards the platform before abruptly vanishing.

Sacajawea Hotel 5 North Main Street • Three Forks For over a century, the historic Sacajawea Hotel has been entertaining guests and providing welcome respite to travelers, ranging from the railroad passengers and crews of over a century ago to current world travelers who are drawn to its elegantly appointed historic charm to those visitors seeking a more ethereal experience. Purportedly haunted by two apparitions, the hotel is a well-known local hotspot for spectral activity. Milwaukee Railroad purchasing agent John Q. Adams, who built the Sacajawea Hotel in 1910 as a rest stop for the railroad that then ran from Wisconsin to the Pacific, allegedly makes appearances in the hallways and guest rooms while a maid has been said to appear from a wall on the third floor. In fact, the Three Forks police department has actually been called to the hotel on occasion to investigate disturbances that have eventually been accounted for by the paranormal pranksters.

Headwaters Heritage Museum 202 Main Street • Three Forks Visitors to this former bank have reported being pushed by a distinctly sinister presence, feeling cold spots and hearing footsteps.

Little Bighorn Battlefield 756 Battlefield Tour Road • Crow Agency This monument to Custer’s infamous Last Stand is home to spirits of both soldiers and Native Americans. Witnesses have allegedly seen ghostly forms, felt taps on the shoulder, and heard moans, screams and war cries.


Montana Historian

Ghost Towns Garnet Originally named after Dr. Armistead Mitchell, who built a stamp mill to crush local ore around which the town grew, Mitchel was renamed Garnet in 1897 after the ruby red stones were found there. Soon after Mitchell erected his mill, Sam Ritchey hit a rich vein of ore in his Nancy Hanks mine just west of the town, which is said to have produced approximately $10 million in gold and produced the boom that drew residents to the prosperous area. One of the most intact ghost towns in Montana, Garnet is also known for being the most actively haunted in the state. The abandoned 1860s mining town 40 miles from Missoula is said to be the home of many spirits, including miners and a woman allegedly executed for murder here. Interestingly, traditional photos (film) taken in the area reveal mists – unseen by the naked eye – with distinct facial features. Bannack With outlaw gang leader Henry Plummer as its sheriff, Bannack was bound for infamy. Responsible for holdups, robberies and violence that made for treacherous travel throughout the area, Plummer perpetrated over 100 murders before his identity as the outlaws’ leader was discovered. Once exposed, he paid his due at the gallows. Bannack is said to be haunted by several resident entities, including an old woman and young female drowning victim that frequent the Meade Hotel. Most disturbing of all, however, are the haunting cries of babes heard in the Amede Bessette house, where 14 infants died during a smallpox epidemic in the late 1800s. Virginia City Once declared the capital of the Territory of Montana, Virginia City was home to approximately 10,000 people at the height of the gold rush. Apparently, some of those souls chose to stick around. Residents and visitors alike have reported frequent paranormal activity – spectral sightings; disembodied voices; cold spots; overwhelming feelings of dread and evil; and unexplained happenings – at the Bonanza and Fairweather Hotels, former Wells Fargo building and throughout the thriving ghost town.

Elkhorn On the heels of the 1880s silver boom that put it on the map, Elkhorn was hit by a diphtheria epidemic that killed many of its resident women and children. Soon thereafter, the repeal of the Silver Purchase Act in 1893 sealed the town’s eventual fate as a popular Montana ghost town. For a full listing of Montana ghost towns and related profiles, visit For more about haunted spots throughout Montana, visit Sources:

301 N Main St Livingston, MT 59047

406-222-1211 2015/2016


ANTIQUITIES Leisure & Luxury in the Age of Nero

The Villas of Oplontis Near Pompeii June 18 – December 31, 2016 In 79 AD, Vesuvius’ catastrophic eruption destroyed the seaside villas of some of Rome’s wealthiest citizens on the Bay of Naples. Now all that remain are the artifacts of leisure and luxury of the Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii, artifacts that have never left Italy before. Join us at MOR, one of only three museums in the U.S. to host this stirring exhibit.

This exhibition is organized and circulated by The University of Michigan Kelsey Museum of Archeology in cooperation with the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attivitá Culturali e del Turismo and the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia.

Marble Aphrodite statuette

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Montana Historian Issue 7 2016  

The Montana Historian illuminates the colorful histories whose panorama shape this unique place. From ghost town barstools to the early trai...

Montana Historian Issue 7 2016  

The Montana Historian illuminates the colorful histories whose panorama shape this unique place. From ghost town barstools to the early trai...


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