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

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

Henry Plummer | The Undoing of a Sheriff

**Don’t miss Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the Henry Plummer Series With Electa out of the picture, Plummer had little reason to spend time at home and threw himself into his work. When he was in Bannack, he took meals with his in-laws, the Vails, and their two boarders – Joseph Swift and Francis … Read more

Copper Kings

The stories of the Copper Kings are stories of Gilded Age ambition, impossible wealth, and devious political machinations. They are the stories of Butte, of Montana, and of the country. William A. Clark came to Montana on the cusp of the gold rush. He quickly found that he could make more money selling things to … Read more

The Road Agents

Bannack Montana

In the wild west, murders and robberies of the innocent are considered especially heinous. In Virginia City, the dedicated citizens who investigate these vicious crimes are members of an elite squad known as the Vigilance Committee. These are their stories: Alder Gulch | May 26, 1863 On this date, six men set up camp along … Read more

The Account of Canton

Many feet of water should cover St. Joseph’s church. Built in 1875, on the banks of the Missouri River in the town of Canton, Montana, St. Joseph’s is Montana’s seventh oldest church, and was the first built by community members, rather than a religious order. The rich ranchland around Canton supported some of the oldest … Read more

What on earth does 3-7-77 mean?

Brian Dunning aired a piece on his blog Skeptoid discussing the Montana symbol 3-7-77. In it, Dunning covered much the same ground as anyone else who writes on the topic: the fact that the Montana Highway Patrol and other Montana institutions use the numbers in their logos, the five or so main theories, and Fredrick … Read more