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.
Upcoming Films and Events
Saturdays in October, every hour on the hour beginning at 10:00 a.m.
We will be showing historic films from the MHS film archives (Note: No film will be shown at times when another program, as described below, is scheduled for the auditorium).
- Saturday, October 20—TBA
- Saturday, October 27—TBA
Wednesday, October 17, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Montana Department of Transportation Historian Jon Axline will present Graven Images: The Bearcreek Cemetery and the Smith Mine Disaster. The Bearcreek Cemetery is a time capsule that provides a wealth of information about a once-thriving coal town that, essentially, no longer exists. The cemetery also contains the remains of many of the men who were killed in the 1943 Smith Mine disaster, the worst coal mining disaster in Montana history. What the cemetery tells us about that community is extraordinary and provides a unique peek into Carbon County’s past. Please note: this is a new program. Pat Seiler's talk on the history of luggage has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 16.
Thursday, October 18, 6:00 p.m., at the Montana Club, downtown Helena at 24 W 6th Ave
Liberated Spirits: Two Women Who Battled over Prohibition. Before his untimely death in 2015, Helena author Hugh Ambrose was working on a book that traced the Prohibition era through the lives of two extraordinary women—wealthy socialite Pauline Sabin, who opposed Prohibition, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General Mabel Willebrandt, a zealous enforcer of the law. Following Ambrose’s death, the book was completed by consulting historian John Schuttler, who had been assisting with research for the project. Join Schuttler and special guest Montana Governor Steve Bullock for this book talk and signing. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, October 20, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
It’s Home Movie Day at MHS! Home Movie Day is a celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held annually at dozens of local venues worldwide, providing the opportunity for individuals and families to discover how best to care for their films and get a rare chance to view examples of home movies.
“Home movies provide invaluable records of our families and our communities: they document vanished storefronts, questionable fashions, adorable pets, long-departed loved ones, and neighborhoods in transition. Many people still possess these old reels or tapes, passed down from generation to generation, but lack the projection equipment to view them properly and safely,” stated Skip Elsheimer, president of the Center for Home Movies. “That's where Home Movie Day comes in: the public brings the films, and volunteers inspect them, project them, and offer tips on storage, preservation, and video transfer—and free of charge, in most cities. And best of all, you get to watch them with an enthusiastic audience, equally hungry for local history,” added Elsheimer.
Admission to the Helena event is free, and advance submission of films and videos is strongly encouraged. To submit home movies in advance, contact Kelly Burton at Kelly.Burton@mt.gov or 406-444-3668. For more information about the Montana Historical Society and its Film Archives, visit https://mhs.mt.gov/research/collections/movingimages. To learn more about the Center for Home Movies, visit www.centerforhomemovies.org
Wednesday, October 31, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Original Governor's Mansion, 304 N Ewing St
Bring the kids to trick-or-treat at the Original Governor’s Mansion for a sweet taste of Halloweens past.