In 1920, the City of Billings purchased 32.5 acres of rural, largely treeless land, anticipating correctly that a neighborhood would grow around it. They began clearing sagebrush and planting trees, and a year later, the parks board contracted with…

Located along major intertribal trade and travel routes, the Missouri River headwaters was a confluence of people as well as rivers. Faded pictographs testify to long usage by Plains and Intermontane tribes, including the Shoshones, who regularly…

Traveling through southeastern Montana in 1883, naturalist, writer, and future United States President Theodore Roosevelt was struck by what he called the Medicine Buttes. He wrote, “Altogether it was as fantastically beautiful a place as I have…

The Lewis and Clark Caverns Headquarters building, designed by National Park Service architect O. John Ballas and built by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) crews in 1938, is a model example of the Rustic or “Parkitecture” style. Drawing on Arts and…

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs to bring the United States out of the Great Depression put millions of men to work and transformed local, state, and national public lands. While New Deal programs like the Civilian Conservation…

Deer hunters first brought the spectacular system of subterranean caverns within Cave Mountain to public attention in 1898. Noticing steam flowing from a natural vent, they discovered passageways and voids filled with striking geological formations.…

The Northern Pacific’s arrival in 1883 brought rapid local changes including development of this pie-shaped block. By 1884, a brick barber shop, three saloons, a cobbler, and a boarding house served the first passenger trains and earliest residents.…

In the earliest days before trees lined Kalispell’s residential streets, this was the town’s only wooded area. The dense, dark evergreens that surrounded a swamp were off limits to children because transients from the freight trains camped here and…