• Centennial farms and ranches: Celebrating a century of MT stories

    “These days, to have a job for 10 years is something of an achievement. To spend an entire lifetime on something is remarkable, and to spend multiple lifetimes in dogged determination is downright admirable.”

    That’s what Montana photographer Thomas Lee told our readers to introduce his Portfolio of photos that documented the lives of three Montana centennial ranching families in our July/August issue.

    Lee’s Portfolio, “A Century of Stories” introduced readers to three of the 28 Montana families that have been honored by the Montana Historical Society’s  Montana Centennial Farm and Ranch program.

    You can meet the families Lee highlights and learn more about the program with our interactive map. To see all the photos, pick up our July/August issue.

    Enjoy!

    - Jenna 

    • Photo by Moonie Bradley

      Photo by Moonie Bradley

    • Photo by Regina Rigby

      Photo by Regina Rigby

    • Photo by Andrea Vizzotzky

      Photo by Andrea Vizzotzky

    • Photo by Rachel Ann

      Photo by Rachel Ann

    • Photo by Whispering Pines Photography

      Photo by Whispering Pines Photography

    • Photo by Betty Jo Dalke-Jones

      Photo by Betty Jo Dalke-Jones

    • Photo by Danielle Maiden

      Photo by Danielle Maiden

    • Photo by Brian Timmons

      Photo by Brian Timmons

    Slideshow: Bald eagles across Montana

    In case you’re in need of a little patriotic boost this Fourth of July Friday, our Facebook friends helped us put together this collection of Montana bald eagles.

    As always, they captured some amazing images. Thanks to everyone who shared.

    Enjoy and Happy Fourth of July.

    - Jenna 

  • Glacier National Park in spotlight of July/August issue

    The July/August cover of Montana Magazine. Photo by Tony Bynum

    The July/August cover of Montana Magazine. Photo by Tony Bynum

    Our fourth issue of 2014 is taking readers into the heart of one of the most special places on earth (at least us Montanans think so): Glacier National Park.

    As you can see on our cover, we’ve got some gorgeous and amazing features to share.

    Mountain goats, you should know, are under observation in Glacier as park officials continue a three year study to determine how the increased visitor numbers are affecting the goats.

    We’ll also show you how, after 100 years, the remaining operating chalets in Glacier are thriving.

    And we’ll take you on a ride on the famous Red Jammers inside Glaicer. How does that compare to a ride on the iconic yellow buses in Yellowstone National Park? Read our feature to find out.

    There’s more. We’ve got sugar beets, a glimpse at how a few artisans are crafting a living with handmade products, and a look at three families that have farmed their land for more than a century.

    Enjoy!

    - Jenna

  • Handpicked horses help riders find mobility, independence

    Here’s a sweet story out of the Bitterroot Valley for you on a almost-summer Thursday.

    The Bitterroot Theraputic Ranch near Corvallis is home to special horses that, as writer Brett Berntsen explains, have a very special duties.

    Take Tonah, for example:

    Tonah, a Norwegian Fjord, fits the mold perfectly. As a small draft horse, she can carry heavy loads yet isn’t tall, making it easy to mount and dismount. Moreover, she has the calm, patient demeanor necessary for long days in the arena.

    . . .

    Astride a beige mare named Tonah, Abbie Jessop leads the exercise. Despite being born with cerebral palsy and nearly deaf, the 18-year-old Pinesdale resident rides independently.

    She steers the patient mare next to a metal rack holding plastic rings. Reaching up with a shaky hand, she spears a ring and drops it onto a nearby cone like a gaucho in training.

    We featured the ranch in our May/June issue with a spread of amazing photos by photography Lido Vizzutti. Grab a copy to see all the photos.

    Until then, the full story is online now.

    Enjoy!

    - Jenna  

     

  • State parks offer 54 unique places to play

    Montana State Parks guide by Kristen Inbody and Erin Madison.

    Montana State Parks guide by Kristen Inbody and Erin Madison.

    There are 54 state parks (soon to be 55) spread out across the expanse of Montana. Few people can say they’ve been to every one.

    From the almost 12,000 acre Makoshika in the east to Les Mason up in the northwestern corner of the state, how do you know where to go?

    We were happy to help the Montana State Parks celebrate its 75th anniversary in our May/June issue with the help of the wonderful Kristen Inbody and Erin Madison – two Montanans who can say they’ve been to every one of the state parks.

    To prove it, they wrote a guide book and travel companion that was recently published. It’s a great guide to have on you dashboard as you travel Montana.

    If you want to learn more about the parks right now, check out our interactive map with our preview of the 75th anniversary feature.

    Don’t forget to find us on Instagram (montanamagazine) to see images from the state parks we visit this year.

    - Jenna

  • Makoshika State Park is Montana's largest state park. Photo by Jason Savage

    Makoshika named one of country’s top ‘hidden gem’ parks

    Makoshika State Park – one of our FAVORITES – was featured as a “hidden gem” in Country Magazine‘s recent feature that included other lesser known parks across the country.

    The intro to the feature supports the notion that Makoshika is tops:

    These national and state parks don’t get as much attention as others, but we think they’re among the best parks in the United States.

    What did Country love about Makoshika?

    It’s “soaring rock formations and prehistoric relics” make it a “surprisingly fascinating and colorful destination.”

    We have a list of the top four things to do at Makoshika, an online post that paired with our portfolio on the park published in the March/April issue of MT Mag.

    Other gems included Baxter State Park in Maine and Palo Duro Canyon in Texas.

    - Jenna

     

  • John Bozeman’s unhappy ending

    John Bozeman. Photo from the Montana Historical Society

    John Bozeman. Photo from the Montana Historical Society

    For our final 150th Montana Territory anniversary post here’s a little bit about John Bozeman . Yep. That Bozeman. Along he had a town named after him, turns out, he wasn’t in Montana too long:

    From Jesse Zentz:

    John Bozeman only lasted in Montana for five years, but this “character” played an important role in Montana’s early territorial days. He arrived in Montana in 1862 and died in 1867. It remains unclear whether he was killed by Blackfeet Indians or partner Tom Cover. Before his death, he helped plan the Bozeman Trail – a route from the Oregon Trail to Bannack – and he founded the city named after him in August of 1864.

    “He’s a son of Georgia. He’s clearly in flight from an unhappy marriage and an unhappy life down south. He’s in flight from the Civil War. He seems to be very good at promoting himself and he’s very good at finding schemes to pursue. In the end, he does not have a happy ending. He ends up getting shot in 1867 and one can only guess what happened there, but he may have been partly responsible. I’ll leave it at that,” said Ken Egan, executive director of Humanities Montana. 

    Just because we’re done celebrating, doesn’t mean there’s not more to see. First, check out this 365-day historical facts project from the Missoulian. Also, if you want to take part in an “official” celebration, the 41st Annual Montana History Conference, presented by the Montana Historical Society, will take place Sept. 18-20 in Helena and focus on Montana Milestones as in commemorates 150 years of Montana arriving on the map. For more information, visit www.mhs.mt.gov/education/ConferencesWorkshops.asp.

    - Jenna 

  • The Frey family on the southwest side of Great Falls in the early 1930s. A photographer would bring the cart and goat to homes, take a picture and create a postcard for families to purchase. Photo submitted by Joleen Frey

    Montana history buffs, this list is for you

    We’ve only started scratching the surface this week during our celebration of Montana’s history in the 150 years since it became a territory.

    There’s plenty more to learn. Once again, writer Jesse Zentz (have you checked out his story in our May/June issue yet?) has an awesome list of sources where you can find out more about Montana.

    It begins with the wonderful Montana Historical Society:

    Montana Historical Society

    Founded only a year after Montana became a territory, the Montana Historical Society is an unrivaled historical resource. Located in Helena, the Montana Historical Society Museum is home to an incredible collection of fine art and historical artifacts. You can visit the museum throughout the year. Learn more online at www.MontanaHistoricalSociety.org.

    Humanities Montana

    At www.HumantiesMontana.com, you can find information about events happening throughout the state, learn about a variety of grants and resources available, and much more.

    Your local library

    Montana’s libraries are full of amazing collections about Montana history, and thanks to a great online resource at www.MyMontanaLibrary.com, finding your local library is only a couple mouse clicks away. Most of the books mentioned above are available, along with many others.

    Take a road trip or a walk around town

    Located throughout Montana along some of the busiest highways and the lonely ones, too, the Montana Department of Transportation’s roadside signs offer some great historical tidbits about geological happenings in the state’s history. You can visit http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/geomarkers.shtml to find the signs.

    - Jenna

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