Taylor Gordon: Montana Singing Sensation

Sometimes a story grabs your attention and insists that you tell it. For me, this week, it was the story of Taylor Gordon, virtuoso singer, member of the Harlem Renaissance, and Montana native. I ended my blog on Minerva Cogswell hinting at the idea that individual stories don’t always do justice to the whole range … Read more

11 Things to do in Virginia City / Ennis Area

Madison River near Ennis, Montana

If Montana is all about outdoor recreation and western history, then the Ennis Area is the state’s poster child. The are includes the the Madison, Beaverhead, Ruby, Big Hole, and Jefferson Rivers, some of the premier fly fishing streams in the whole state. Right next door are Virginia City and Nevada City, open air museums … Read more

Minerva Cogswell, Virginia City Restaurateur

There had been an African American presence in the Montana since its creation as a territory in 1864. Jack Taylor, for example, had served in the Union army before moving west and arriving in Virginia City in 1866.  Taylor worked as a teamster freighting goods to and from Virginia City. Over the years, he became … Read more

Butte Montana’s Thompson Park

People are drawn to Butte for all sorts of reasons – mining history, the culture, the events – but one of our favorite reasons to visit the area is to explore Thompson Park. The park not only offers stunning views, a relatively easy trail and the perfect place to gather, but the trail itself is … Read more

Saving the Past | Charles Bovey

Virginia City is one of the biggest draws in Southwest Montana. And little wonder. The town played a central role in Montana’s development as a state, and it has a raucous and alluring history, full of exactly the kind of characters you hope to hear about in an old west goldrush town. But it’s not … Read more

The Road to Helena becoming Montana’s Capital City

Helena | The Capital City

On a day when the unrest in our country is tangible we are taking a break from the 2020 politics by looking back at one of the most contentious elections in our state’s history. The election of 1894 would determine the permanent home of Montana’s state capital. In 1892, a presidential election year (Cleveland vs. … Read more

We Spent a Night in Montana’s Haunted Prison

When it comes to ghosts and a belief in the paranormal, I would describe myself as an open-minded skeptic. While I’ve never had a paranormal experience myself, I’ve known plenty of people to describe their own encounters that verged on unexplainable. I enjoy the occasional ghost tour and love the history that backs the claims … Read more

5 of the Most Haunted Places in Montana

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy (Hamlet, I.5) Here on the blog, there are a variety of opinions about ghosts and the like. More opinions than there are writers, in fact, because my skepticism/belief in ghosts has a good deal to do with how dark the … Read more

St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Virginia City

When you think of Montana’s first gold rushes, and mining towns like Virginia City, saloons, brothels, brawls, and a sheriff who supposedly did double duty as a highway robber, church is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But, in fact, churches have been part of the fabric of Montana life for nearly … Read more

Montana Treasures | The Helena Capitol Rotunda Paintings

Four beautiful roundels adorn the interior of the Montana Capitol buildings elegant rotunda. Painted by the firm F. Pedretti’s Sons (who were responsible for many of the paintings in the Capitol) in 1902, each of the paintings depicts a characteristic “type” who played a role in Montana’s early development. They are: “The Indian Chief”, “The … Read more