Montana’s Cultural Heritage-Havre’s Hands on History Day

Each year in Havre Montana the H. Earl Clack Museum puts on its Hands on History program at the local mall. Hands on History is a wonderful program that allows children to learn how the pioneers and Native American’s of Montana got things done. They can participate and learn how to: ride horses, pan for gold, tool leather, branding, and much more. The program also has an amazing cultural program featuring Native American dancers, black powder demonstrations, and music that explores the Celtic roots of many of Montana’s early settlers. It is free to attend and watch and children can purchase tickets to participate in the hands on programs the money going to the museum and the Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo site. If you are in Montana or sourthern Canada it is will worth the trip. I will post the time and date for this years event as soon as its set. Following are pictures from last year’s event with photos of the Native American Dancers and the Celtic musicians.






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Pioneer Story

I have a pioneer story in which 2 of the photographs I posted figure prominently. I met an elderly couple in my office who saw some of my framed pictures. The gentleman told me a great story involving his parents from the early days last century. The first picture is the Galata Motel in Galata Montana.


The 8 room hotel was built to serve cowboys who drove their cattle to the railroad and ranchers who would stay the night after purchasing supplies at the mercantile. The town only boomed for a few years and then in the 1910’s the hotel and the town began to die off. The Campbell family left to make a new life in the big city of Montana. They travelled as many miles as they could each day with the family and livestock and would sleep in hay stacks at night. Except for the one night when they reached Loma Montana and got to stay in “luxury” at the one room schoolhouse there.

Early 1900s 1 room schoolhouse at Loma, Montana

Early 1900s 1 room schoolhouse at Loma, Montana

That’s the thing I love about getting out and taking these historic photos so many of which are close to my home in Havre Montana. I get to meet the people who lived that history and it brings these old places to life for a little. Its also a driving force behind why I take so many of these historic style photos. To help preserve and protect these places for once the people are gone if those structures are gone as well then those memories and our shared history are lost forever. I am getting very serious about bringing attention to these structures to find agencies or private individuals (since many of them are on private land) to preserve these beautifully haunting structures that represent a time when this nation was being built. I hope through sales of my pictures, this blog, and shows that I do to raise awareness and funds to keep the pioneering spirit and relics of the past was fading away and being lost in time.

New Web Store Launch

If you are interested in purchasing any of my Photo Art Works I have launched a new webstore.  Please visit at

Photo Art Products:

Canvas Prints

Framed Prints — choose from a selection of beautiful custom frames.

Poster Prints — Value option that is completely customizable: add text, an inspirational message, or personal greeting.


Other Products:

Customized Post Cards

Personalized Greeting Cards

Mugs, Aprons, Key Chains, and much more all able to be personalized and customized.

Happy Shopping and leave a comment 😀


Ft Benton, Montana (teaser)

I will be heading to Ft Benton, Montana in June to do a full story on the town for the blog. I did a little scout trip this morning and thought I would give everyone a little teaser of some of the sights you will see when I do my full story.

Along the way I stopped to take some pictures of the Lone Tree Casino, I love the two neon palm trees out front, probably the only two in Montana real or neon.


I took a little break in the small town of Loma, Mt to take a pic or two of some buffalo and the Marias river near Decision Point. Loma has two claims to fame, Decision Point which is where Lewis and Clark camped and debated which river was the Missouri. The Marias flows into the Missouri just east of town. The second is the World Record for a temperature change in a 24 hour period. On January 14th 1972, the temperature was 54 degrees below zero (f) that night a Chinook Wind began blowing the recorded high on January 15th 49 degrees above 0 (f)  Meaning the temperature change was 103 degrees in 24 hours. It broke the previous record change of 100 degrees set where? Browning Montana in 1916. If you don’t like the weather in Montana just wait half an hour it will change.

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Ft Benton Montana established as a fur trading center in 1847 and bills itself as “The Birthplace of Montana” Ft Benton began to prosper in 1859 with the advent of steamboat traffic. It was as far up river as steamboats could navigate. In addition to being known as Montana’s birthplace Ft Benton used to hold title to being “The Bloodiest Block in the West” People were advised to “….Walk in the center of the street and keep your mouth shut.


Today is a much more friendly town, loaded with history, culture, several museums, the old fort, cafes, bars, and a lot of really nice people.

The only unfriendly resident I discovered was this angry hissing goose 😛

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He was located on the old Ft Benton Bridge which was made by the Milwaukee Bridge and Ironworks in 1888 and rebuilt after the flood in 1908

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The steamboat journey ended at the beginning of the Mullan Road.

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After these photos I broke for lunch at the Wake Cup Coffee House: Really good food (cheeseburger and sweet potato fries for me) awesomely nice people staffing the restaurant, friendly and fun, and epic awesome décor. Tables made from antique doors (cool) and absolutely beautifully designed inside with a local interior decorator. I will get the full story when I go back in June…just a teaser today. Here are some photos of the restaurant, If you are in Ft Benton stop in Mon-Sat 7-4 and Sunday 7-3 for a great meal with great people in an amazing atmosphere!

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And my order number ticket –a piece of an old license plate- how fun.

After lunch I finished up with some quick street shots of the down town area. I can’t wait to go back do some serious photos and get the backstory and history on a lot of these buildings and talk to the people.

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Above the I.G. Baker Company that rivaled the great Hudson Bay Company. Below the Benton Bank Building now home to Ft Benton Realty


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069The L&R meats sandwich shop in a building built in 1888 (have to eat there next time)

047 066 023 025 Some other scenes from around town and following to historic motels. More on those when I do my June visit.

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And while in rained in front of me and behind me I had sunshine my whole trip it was awesome considering the spring storms that were rolling across the plains all around me. Hope you enjoyed this teaser and be sure to check back in June for the full story.




Spring Adventure

Nice spring day for Montana: sunshine, rain, snow, and back to sun 😀  Starting off with some old wood grain elevators that are falling victim to time and the elements. Not sure how many storms these two will stand.


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Thought this cross on top of a church looked cool


The next two are my favorite shots from the drive. Typical Montana scene “Cattle & Mountains”

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Finish up with some more mountain scenes.

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Hope you enjoyed coming along on my drive let me know what you think of the photos.