A stormy crossing from Germany to Baltimore, a three-day quarantine, and a long train trip west finally brought John Spannring, his wife Mary, and their four children to Montana in 1910. A fifth child was born a month after the family’s arrival in…

With an entourage of four covered wagons and over thirteen-hundred head of burros, horses, and Angora goats, Stanton Brannin and his large family began a hazardous journey from New Mexico to Montana. Two years later in 1897, the Brannins filed a…

A single-story octagonal cutaway bay with prominent wooden brackets and a multi-sided screen porch mark the street façade of this T-shaped, two-story home. An excellent example of vernacular Queen Anne style architecture, the home displays much…

Gold strikes at Bannack and Alder Gulch brought Irish immigrant Peter Whaley to Montana in the 1860s. Whaley’s wife and nine children shared his adventures, including his service as the first agent on the Flathead Reservation, until the family…

John and Juda Summers began married life in a log cabin near this site in 1878. The couple worked hard raising cattle and eventually owned more than 1,000 acres and 1,500 head of cattle. Copper King Marcus Daly purchased most of their land in 1894.…

In 1889, Ray and Luella Moon filed a homestead claim on 160 acres two miles north of Missoula. The Minnesota couple built a shed-roofed claim shack, broke an acre of land, dug a well, and planted a garden. Five years later, the Moons had installed…

Trees of great age line the unpaved driveway leading to this historic homestead, built at the intersection of an early wagon route and the 1860s Mullan military road. Albert H. Cook homesteaded here in 1879, settling in a cabin built by railroad…

While prairie homesteads dominate the popular imagination, agricultural land in Montana’s western forests also attracted settlers. The Forest Homestead Act, passed in June 1906, opened land within the national forests. Three months later, a…

English immigrants Frances and Henry Hay came to Helena in the mid-1860s and were among the first to settle on West Main where Hay mined a claim. Their log cabin became the center of the present residence, built circa 1870. A switchback path leads…

Jesse Green set out on horseback in 1911 at the height of Montana’s homesteading boom in search of unclaimed land. The quest brought him here to 360 acres of rough pastureland nestled in the Horseshoe Hills. Abnormally high precipitation in the…