Welcome to the Montana Historical Society

Thursday, February 11, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Presence of the Past Program SeriesCass Gilbert in Big Sky Country.  His Designs for the Montana Club.  Helena historian Patty Dean will share information gleaned while conducting research for her newly published monograph on Helena’s famed Montana Club. She will trace the way in which the clubhouse, designed by St. Paul/New York City architect Cass Gilbert, embodies the values of the esteemed organization and place it in the context of gentlemen's clubs ranging from London's St. James Square to Butte. She will also give attendees a look at the members' original, short-lived home—once hailed as “the most sumptuous building ever erected in Montana”—that was built in 1893 and burned in 1903.  Her new book was published by Drumlummon Institute on the occasion of the Club's the 130th anniversary. 

Saturday, February 13, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Second Saturday at MHS.  Sponsored by the Helena Community Credit Union, Second Saturday features free admission all day long and drawings for door prizes. Free admission is also offered at the Original Governor’s Mansion, 304 N. Ewing, where tours begin on the hour at noon, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 17, 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 noon. Friends of the Montana Historical Society Public Program—Archives Trivia. Taking their cue from popular Pub Trivia Nights, the staff of the MHS Archive staff will host an Archives Trivia contest.  Attendees will form teams and be quizzed on Montana History Trivia (with a focus on materials in our archival collections).  Winners will get bragging rights and a “fabulous prize.”  All participants will have a good time testing their Montana history chops!

Thursday, February 18, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Presence of the Past Program SeriesTaming Big Sky Country: The History of Montana Transportation from Trails to Interstates. Cruising down Montana’s scenic highways, it’s easy to forget that traveling from here to there once was a genuine adventure. The state’s major routes evolved from ancient Native American trails into four-lane expressways in a little over a century. That story is one of difficult, groundbreaking and sometimes poor engineering decisions, as well as a desire to make a journey faster, safer and more comfortable. It all started in 1860, when John Mullan hacked a wagon road over the formidable Rocky Mountains to Fort Benton. It continued until the last section of interstate highway opened to traffic in 1988. Montana Department of Transportation historian Jon Axline charts a road trip through the colorful and inspiring history of trails, roads and superhighways in Big Sky Country. Axline will be on hand to sign copies of his new book which is serving as the basis of his talk.

Thursday, February 25, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Presence of the Past Program SeriesBlood on the Marias: The Baker Massacre. On the morning of January 23, 1870, troops of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry attacked a Piegan Indian village on the Marias River killing many more than the army’s count of 173, most of them women, children, and old men. Intended as a retaliation against Mountain Chief’s renegade band, the massacre sparked public outrage when news sources revealed that the battalion had attacked Heavy Runner’s innocent village—and that guides had told its inebriated commander, Major Eugene Baker, he was on the wrong trail, but he struck anyway. In his new book—hot off the press from the University of Oklahoma—Bozeman author Paul R. Wylie explores the history of Euro-American involvement with the Piegans, beginning with the Hudson Bay Company in the 17th century and culminating in the tragic events on the Marias. 

Watch as museum staff de-installs Eloquence in Wood: The Art of John L. Clarke in preparation for our new exhibit From the Heart: Stan Lynde’s Comic Creations.

Montana Historical Society logo. Big Sky. Big Land. Big History.

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

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