Rudyard is proof of great things coming in small packages.
“It’s a very homey place, friendly. It takes ten minutes to walk down the street because you’re bound to run into someone you know,” laughs John Muller, co-owner of McNair Furniture in Rudyard.
Muller has lived most of his life in the area—and it’s been a good life, thanks in large part to his community.
“It’s the old-fashioned lifestyle. Everybody looks out for everybody,” he says.
That includes taking care of visitors.
Rudyard welcomes tourists to stop in for a burger and shake at their authentic ‘50s diner. Out-of-towners can bowl alongside locals or catch a movie at the vintage hometown theater. The modestly named Rudyard Museum, which encompasses seven separate buildings, presents the history of the area from the age of the dinosaurs up through the Twentieth Century.
“You can find a lot to do without looking too far,” says Bob Toner of Toner’s Tirerama.
For more than seventy years he’s been blessed to call Rudyard his home, and he’s continually amazed by all that his community offers.
“One of my nieces came up with her husband for a family reunion. They live in Helena. Just before they left, he told his buddies he was coming here for the weekend, and they said, ‘What are you going to do for three days in Rudyard?’” Toner remembers. “Before he left, he said, ‘When I go home, I’m going to tell them there wasn’t enough time to see it all!”
If you’re wondering how to get to Rudyard, the town’s not hard to find. A sign on U.S. Highway 2 proudly proclaims, “596 Nice People–1 Old Sore Head!”
(That isn’t an empty joke; elections are held regularly to determine exactly who that “old sore head” is. In 2017, NBC Nightly News even covered the election of Rudyard’s honorable grump.)
“You’d be surprised the number of people that stop to take pictures of that sign,” says Muller.
If you’re going to pull over, take the time to explore the community. The sites, the scenery, and the people all make Rudyard worth the stop.