Hell Roarin’ Gulch: The World Museum of Mining
Stroll back through time on the boardwalks of an authentic reproduction of an 1890s mining town with 50 buildings. A bank, general store, funeral parlor, jail, union hall, school, two churches, Chinese laundry, mining company, and doctor’s office are among the many buildings you can visit. All are carefully filled with thousands of authentic antiques from early Butte and other nearby mining communities. Phone: 406-723-7211 Email: email@example.com
Festival of Nations
Red Lodge, Montana
The Festival of Nations, one of the oldest and most historic festivals in Montana, is a 2-day event celebrating the cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Italy, Germany, Finland, and the Czech Republic in remembrance of those peoples’ vital roles in the mining industry of the area in the early 1900s. The Festival of Nations event includes parades, games, dancing, music, and food from each nation presented, along with ethnic games and competitions.
“Running of the Sheep” Sheep Drive
Reed Point, Montana
The “Running of the Sheep” Sheep Drive features hundreds of sturdy Montana-bred woolies charging down the six blocks of Main Street in an event some say is matched only by the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The event also has a parade including the Shriner’s Band, floats, antique cars, covered wagons, horse groups, and more. To end the fun-filled day, don’t miss the evening “Street Dance” with live music. For more information about the “Running of the Sheep” Sheep Drive in Reed Point visit:
Buffalo Jump Archaeological Site
June 1 – Labor Day
Wahkpa Chu’gn is a prehistoric buffalo jump dating back 2,000 years. Peoples of the Besant, Avonlea, and Old Women’s/Saddle Butte archaeological complexes are represented in the site area. One hour guided tours of the site are offered daily from June 1st through Labor Day. Visitors view pits up to 20 feet below the surface where artifacts remain in place as discovered. The site is handicapped accessible and off season tours are available (weather permitting) by calling 406-265-6417 or 406-945-3503.
Charlie Russell’s Honeymoon Cottage
Charles Marion Russell (The Cowboy Artist) visited and lived in Cascade throughout most of the 1890s. He met and married Nancy Cooper in Cascade. The little house they lived in has been restored by local resident Gene Dwyer. The “Honeymoon Cottage” is a small building 12’ by 34’and is open to the public free of charge. The cottage is in Cascade but it is necessary to arrange tours in advance by calling 406-453-3406. Available at the cottage for purchase is a fascinating book about Charlie Russell’s Honeymoon Cottage and his life in Cascade.
Fort Assinniboine Historic Site, Northern Agricultural Research Center
Fort Assinniboine Historic Site was constructed in 1879, and became the largest, most active military fort in the U.S. The post had 104 buildings and was contained within a 40 mile long by 15 mile wide military reservation. The Fort originally had 700,000 acres, taking in the Bear Paw Mountains and extending to the Missouri River. Several of the original buildings still stand. Guided tours of the Fort are from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday tours start at Noon and 5pm. All tours begin at the Fort. Phone: 406-265-4000
Geraldine Milwaukee Depot
The Geraldine Milwaukee Depot, built in 1913, is a great example of one of America’s small-town, turn-of-the-century wooden depots. It has a unique design and was given special attention since the town’s namesake, Geraldine Rockefeller, was the daughter of the principal Milwaukee stockholder, William A. Rockefeller. The exterior has been fully restored, and the building is located on its original site next to the still active short-line Central Montana Railroad. Displays document the role the railroad played in developing the large agricultural area, and include a freight room and ticket/express office.
Old Fort Benton
Fort Benton, Montana
Memorial Day – September 30
Hours are: Monday through Saturday 10:30am to 4:30pm, and Sunday from noon to 4pm. Docents are available and guided tours can be arranged for large groups or special visits through the Museum of the Upper Missouri or the Museum of the Northern Great Plains in Fort Benton.
St. Peter’s Mission
St. Peter’s Mission was founded approximately in 1874 when Sister Amadeus and three other Ursuline nuns came to Cascade. St. Peter’s Mission was a boarding school/academy for Native Americans. When Sister Amadeus became ill, Mary Fields, also known as Black Mary, an indentured servant of her family, came to Montana to live with her. Black Mary stayed in the area and there are quite a few stories written and told about her. St. Peter’s Mission is located outside of Cascade Montana. From Great Falls, take I-15 South, turn at the Cascade exit #254, then turn right. Drive about 12 miles on a gravel road. The mission is about a block off the road and there are two fence gates to open/close because the area is fenced off for cattle grazing. Phone: 406-468-9216
Mid-April – Mid-November
Ring the buzzer and the Ferry Operator will come over the Missouri to pick you and your vehicle up. The ride is free, but operated at your own risk. The Virgelle Ferry has successfully transported over 30,000 vehicles with a 50 foot long steel frame and deck pulled by a power cable. The Virgelle Ferry started in 1913 and today is a popular point of departure for canoeists floating this scenic stretch of river. It is near the northernmost point of the Missouri River. Just downstream is the site where steamboats once loaded coal that was dug from the nearby hills at Coal Banks landing. The Ferry is seasonal, operating from mid April to mid November, depending on the ice on the Missouri. Services in nearby Virgelle include historic accommodations at Virgelle Merc & Missouri River Canoe Company.
“Little Bighorn” Battlefield
Crow Agency, Montana
Memorial Day – Labor Day
Located 65 miles southeast of Billings, the visitor center and museum feature exhibits of the history of the battle, Custer, weapons, archaeology, Plains Indian life, and a walking tour with interpretive markers. Phone: 406-638-2621.