New Exhibits Opening at the Northwest Montana History Museum!!

The Northwest Montana Historical Society will celebrate the unveiling of two new historical exhibitions at the Northwest Montana History Museum during a special reception on Tuesday, June 9th, from 5 to 7 pm.

Gold Dust: Montana's Haunted Landscapes, from photographer and visual artist Clayton McDougall, tries to capture that fleeting period in an expressive and creative way that breathes new life back into these now derelict locations. This exhibition features more than a dozen photographic studies of places that got so hot so fast that they quickly burned out, as well as locations that never seemed to meet the potential that was envisioned for them.

Gold Dust shows the degradation found in these ghost towns and turns it into something beautiful; the photographs in this exhibition seek to document these relics of Montana's territorial past on their own terms. All of these images were captured on expired Kodak 35mm film and printed on a wood panel. In it's own time, each will deteriorate in a similar manner to the structures they depict.

In addition to Gold Dust, The Northwest Montana Historical Society is also debuting it's new exhibition On a Passing Frontier. This permanent exhibit examines life in Northwest Montana before the Flathead Valley was widely settled. It was a time when American Indian camps were still plentiful, when trapping and trading was the largest industry in the Valley, and when pioneers like Frank Bird Linderman set the course for Montana's future.

Containing hundreds of photographs and authentic artifacts, this all-encompassing exhibition tells the earliest stories of the region and will will serve as a cornerstone of the Northwest Montana History Museum. On a Passing Frontier is the Museum's largest and most ambitious display since the opening of Flathead Valley History in July of 2013.

Everyone is always welcome at the Northwest Montana History Museum. However,if you have a cough, a fever, or are just feeling under the weather, we kindly ask that you visit us some other time; not only of your own health, but but for the well-being of our staff and other supporters. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, heightened precautions and additional protections will be implemented for the June 9th event.

Gold Dust will be on display through the summer, while On a Passing Frontier is a permanent addition to the Museum. The Northwest Montana History Museum is regularly open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5.

Historic Film Club

Free Admission! Free Popcorn!
Tuesday. September 22, 7pm

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Set during the French and Indian War, The Last of the Mohicans tells an adventurous tale of alliances broken and cultures clashing in pre-Revolution New England. Even through all of this conflict and bloodshed, personal connections are continuously forged and broken and reforged again.  Released in 1992, The Last of the Mohicans is adapted more from the 1936 Western version of the story than James Fennimore Cooper’s 1826 novel. Director Michael Mann took issue with Cooper’s sympathy for the European settlers and their seizing of American Indian tribal lands.


History Book Club

Wednesday, October 7, 2:00pm

Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers by John Fraley (rescheduled from June 3)

The North, Middle, and South Forks of the Flathead River drain some of the wildest country in Montana, including Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. In Rangers, Trappers, and TrailblazersJohn Fraley recounts the true adventures of people who earned their living among the mountains and along the cold, clear rivers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here are the stories of the intrepid Glacier Park Ranger Clyde Fauley and his young family using a cable bucket to reach their isolated cabin across the Middle Fork, trapper Slim Link's fateful meeting with a grizzly bear in the deep woods of the North Fork, and the life and times of Henry Thol, the ranger's ranger, who happily snowshoed hundreds of miles through deep snows and minus-40 cold to patrol the South Fork wilderness. Tragedies and near-misses abound: a fatal shootout, tangles with bears and packrats, a devastating train wreck, and a missing airplane. But these are balanced with tales of courage, endurance, and remarkable personal achievement. Fraley tells all in intriguing detail wrested from primary sources.

Author John Fraley will be in attendance to answer questions and sign copies of the book! Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers is available in the NWMTHS' Schoolbell Books & Gifts





Quilting Class at the Northwest Montana History Museum

The Northwest Montana History Museum’s popular Quilting Class is returning just in time for the fall weather! The class will be meeting at the Museum every other Wednesday through November from 1 to 4 pm. With the world still a little topsy-turvy, there has never been a better time to learn a new skill, pick up a new hobby, or perhaps create a special something for friends or loved ones near and far.

September 23

October 7

October 21

November 4

November 18

Anybody interested can attend any or all weeks, as the class is completely free and open to the public. Participants can be complete beginners or experienced quilters looking to learn tips and new skills for projects, or looking for fellowship with fellow quilters. Swatches and tools are provided, although participants should feel free to bring anything they would like to use. The classes will take place in one of the large event halls upstairs in the Museum and will be following social-distancing health guidelines. The workshop is led by local quilter and Museum volunteer Betty Jo Malone, and, after a month off, will be returning on a similar schedule in January. Any questions can be directed to Betty Jo at 406-755-6323.