Public Programs

The Montana Historical Society hosts regularly scheduled public programs on a wide variety of topics relating to the Treasure State’s history and culture. Most programs take place on Thursday evenings (excluding holidays and a summer break). The Friends of the Montana Historical Society sponsor public programs the third Wednesday of each month, September through May (excluding December), and an annual March Lecture Series in celebration of Women’s History Month. Every fall the Society holds its annual Montana History Conference. Exhibit openings, curator tours, and family programs also enliven the year.

Public Programs for November 2015

Thursday, November 5, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Presence of the Past Program Series—Marsha Fulton, Summoning the Dead in the West: Spiritualism in 19th Century Montana. During the latter half of the nineteenth century, an inconsolable nation aching from the human toll of the Civil War turned its eyes to a growing movement that promised communication with the deceased. The Spiritualism movement began in a small New York town and rapidly spread across the country. Fulton’s talk will follow the progress of Spiritualism across Montana through the stories, events and people who promised to summon the dead. Fulton is co-founder of the Extreme History Project in Bozeman. Her background in anthropology and art history engendered a deep seeded interest in the human production of spirituality. Her research focus on the spiritual expression in ancient art and her fieldwork in the Pleistocene painted caves in France gave her a unique perspective on the human need to venture into the spiritual unknown.

Monday, November 9, 9:00 – 5:00. Free admission in honor of Montana Statehood Day and MHS membership month. Veterans are admitted free all week in observance of Veteran’s Day.

Thursday, November 12, 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Celebrate membership month with a behind-the-scenes tour of MHS collections. Space is limited so sign up in advance by calling 406-444-3695.

November 12, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Presence of the Past Program Series—Miss “V” the Gypsy Cowbelle, Modern Day Homesteader.Modern Day Homesteader is a one-of-a-kind presentation that offers a firsthand glimpse into life on the range for western homesteaders. Bridging the gap between old-school tradition and modern perspective, this beautiful and compelling documentary chronicles Miss ”V”s journey on a remote homestead ranch in the Rocky Mountains. The Gypsy Cowbelle displays her versatility as a storyteller as well as a public speaker, utilizing the documentary as a platform to engage audiences in interactive discussions following screenings. Modern Day Homesteader is sure to leave an indelible mark in the minds of all those who share the journey.

Saturday, November 14, 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.

November 19, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Presence of the Past Program Series—Rich Aarstad, The Indelible Mark of Francis Thompson.

From the vigilantes to the first territorial legislature, Francis M. Thompson was an active participant and first-hand witness to the birth and growing pains of early Montana territory. In this presentation, Senior MHS Manuscript Archivist Rich Aarstad will present some of Thompson’s most intriguing and long-lasting contributions to the story that is Montana.

November 26 – Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 27, and Saturday, November 28

Home for the holidays—the former home of Montana’s first families that is. Bring your out-of-town family and friends for a visit to the Original Governors’ Mansion. 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 444-3695. Fee: $4.00 per adult, $1.00 per child, $10.00 per family maximum.

The Montana Historical Society's Research Center offers a variety of Programs on an ongoing basis. A list of topics is posted here.

To arrange speakers for your group or organization, or other questions regarding public programs, contact Kirby Lambert at 406-444-4741 or

Join Our E-mail Mailing List (coming soon)