Montana Historical Society

Big Sky ~ Big History

Museum and research center closed for renovations. For more info, call (406) 444-2694.

Public Programs and Events

The Montana Historical Society hosts public programs on a wide variety of topics relating to the Treasure State’s history and culture. Most programs take place on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. (excluding holidays and a summer break). Every fall the Society holds its annual Montana History Conference. Special lectures, exhibit openings, curator tours, and family programs also enliven the year.

Can’t make it? Watch the archived recording on the MHS YouTube Channel as well as a variety of great presentations.

October 2023

NOTE: All presentations are at the Lewis and Clark Library, 120 S Last Chance Gulch, Helena and archived on the MTHS YouTube Channel unless otherwise noted.

  • Thursday, October 5, 6:30 p.m.
    Native Plants of Montana: A History of Forage and Horticulture
    Presentation by Carson Thomas

    While history often focuses on the people of the past, the story of the land and our natural environment is also an important part of our cultural heritage. In this presentation, Carson Thomas will delve into the cultural significance of native plants and how their historic cultivation and use has helped shape Montana history. This program is being offered in conjunction with the Big Read of The Bear, by Andrew Krivak.

    As the Nursery Program Specialist for the Montana Department of Agriculture, Carson Thomas’s work includes inspecting nurseries, certifying exports, surveying for pests, and taking action to prevent the artificial spread of invasive species of insects, plants, and diseases throughout Montana.

  • Thursday, October 12, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
    The Quest: A Montanan's Photographic Journey
    Exhibit Opening and Book Release
    Jailhouse Gallery at the Myrna Loy
    15 N Ewing St, Helena

    In celebration of Richard S. Buswell's work, the Montana Historical Society Press and the University of Montana Press have partnered to publish this stunning book, The Quest: A Montanan's Photographic Journey. In conjunction, Buswell's photography will be on display in a special exhibit at the Jailhouse Gallery at the Myrna Loy from October 10 to 29.

    Join us in celebrating the release of The Quest and the exhibit opening.

    Richard S. Buswell has created images of some of the most haunting relics of Montana's settler period. To date, Buswell’s photography has hung in exhibits worldwide, is held in more than 200 museum collections, nationally and internationally, and has been the focus of six books. Most recently the Montana Historical Society acquired Buswell’s complete oeuvre as part of its permanent collections.

  • Thursday, October 19, 6:30 p.m.
    A Hidden Tale: The Vigilantes and X. Beidler of Fort Benton
    Presentation and book signing with Ken Robison

    Stories of Montana vigilantes often center on Henry Plummer and X. Beidler in Bannack and Virginia City in the early 1860s, but vigilante activity later in the 1860s in the booming and lawless riverport town of Fort Benton has received little attention. Ken Robison will take you through the streets of the “Bloodiest Block in the West” and the “Hoo Doo Block” to unveilthe hidden tale of lawman X. Beidler and the vigilantes in Fort Benton. These stories are told from Ken’s new book Historic Tales of Fort Benton.

    Ken Robison is a chronicler of neglected Western history, a preservationist, and the historianat the Overholser Historical Research Center in Fort Benton. He also serves on the Board ofthe Montana Historical Society and has been honored as a “Montana Heritage Keeper”.

See a listing of all Montana Historical Society public programs and events for October 2023 here.

To arrange speakers for your group or organization, or other questions regarding public programs, contact Laura Marsh at (406) 444-4789 or

Sign up to learn about upcoming programs.