Welcome to the Montana Historical Society

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Celebrate Montana history with us! Your interest and love of Montana’s past energizes our work. With your help, more real stories of the past can be shared and more history is preserved for future generations. We invite you to enjoy, engage, explore, know, visit, and preserve Montana history by joining and supporting the Montana Historical Society.

December Programs: 

Saturday, December 9, 1:30 p.m. A Darkness Lit by Heroes—Talk and book signing by Missoula author Doug Ammons. A Darkness lit by Heroes is a new novel about Butte’s 1917 Speculator Mine disaster, the deadliest hard-rock mining disaster in American history. Ammons based his novel on extensive research he conducted into six-hundred pages of eye-witness testimony that had been lost for ninety years.  The story is carefully told to encompass not only the trapped miners’ point of view but also the emotions of the courageous rescuers and distraught men and women waiting above ground. 

Here are some of the things book reviewers have been saying about A Darkness Lit by Heroes:

It is a masterfully written story, combining great historical accuracy with exceptional insight.

Magnificent!  Beautifully written!  Incredible story!

I loved it.  Especially once we’re down in the mines describing the men’s efforts to get out and the decisions the groups of men made.  It really took me there, crawling in the dark, using every sense but sight, trying to hold panic at bay.  Just fabulous.  Congratulations again and again!

That Doug Ammons knows his subject well is evident on every page.  But it is much more than just the mining technology and the workings of the underground mines of Butte.  For a reader who wishes to go beyond the historical facts and to understand the heart and soul of Butte and the era of the early 1900s, this book will take you to its core.  It should be on the "must read" list for any student of Montana history.  The author is an excellent writer, beautiful use of words, the style is raw and brings the story alive.  The book is almost impossible to put down. - Irene Scheidecker, Butte Silver Bow Public Archives

Thursday, December 14, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Exhibit opening. Times of Trouble, Times of Change: Montana and the Great War.  When the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917 to make the world “safe for democracy,” a conflict over American ideals erupted at home. What happened when pro-war propaganda swept across the nation? What did it mean to be an American and how did that tear communities apart? What ideals were Montanans fighting to protect? Join us at the opening of Montana Historical Society’s newest exhibition exploring these questions and commemorating the First World War. The reception is free and open to the public and will have refreshments inspired by historic recipes, hands-on activities for all ages, and WWI-era music from the Continental Divide Tuba Society. The exhibit Times of Trouble, Times of Change: Montana and the Great War explores how everyday Montanans served the war effort on both the home front and the Western Front. The exhibit showcases some of Montanans’ contributions, including a Red Cross quilt made to raise money for relief efforts. The exhibit also examines how patriotic fervor pulled some communities together and tore others apart, including when the Speculator-Granite Mountain Mine fire on June 8, 1917, led to the death of at least 168 miners. Montanans, including non-citizen Native Americans, served in the military in record numbers—from the skies over Europe to the forests of France, from military hospitals to supply ships, and from the telephone exchanges to the trenches. Those who returned found their home communities struggling with influenza and drought. The exhibit offers several interactive experiences for visitors to step into the lives of Montanans during the war, including a life-sized trench replica and a “Follow a Montanan” character experience. The exhibition will be open through Summer 2019.

Saturdays in December—Free Admission to MHS. Every Saturday in December enjoy free admission to the Montana Historical from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   After you browse the Museum’s long-term and temporary exhibits remember to visit the MHS Museum Store. With our hand-picked selection of Montana books, jewelry, and gifts, it is the perfect place to shop and giftwrapping is free. And don’t forget that MHS memberships make great presents for the history-lovers in your life. MHS members receive free admission to the museum, a subscription to Montana The Magazine of Western History, two free research requests, and a 15 percent discount on most store purchases.

 Saturday’s in December—Free Admission to the OGM. Come “Home for the Holidays”—home to the Original Governor’s Mansion that is.  Enjoy free admission and join MHS interpreters in a look at the contributions that Montana women and children made to the war effort during World War I. Not only is the Mansion decked out for the holidays, special exhibits of posters, magazine articles, photographs, artifacts, and hands-on activities show visitors how Montanans “did their bit” to support the war effort. Newspapers, letters, and telegrams offer a glimpse of the issues facing Governor Sam Stewart, the First Family, and all Montanans during the Great War. Bring your out-of-town family and friends. Tours begin on the hour at noon, 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 pm. The Mansion is located at 304 N. Ewing. For more information please call 406-444-4794. 

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(406) 444-2694
(406) 444-2696 fax
P.O. Box 201201
225 N. Roberts
Helena, MT 59620

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