Custer County was established in 1877 and has a rich, Western history. The majority of the residents maintain a ranch and farming lifestyle, which is an important part of this once massive county.
When it was first established, Custer County was larger than the state of Pennsylvania. However, as time passed, various districts separated from Custer County, leaving it to be only the tenth largest county in the state of Montana today.
The county was founded in 1865 and was named Big Horn. Custer County was part of the original counties in the Territory of Montana. It was later renamed in 1877 to honor Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.
It is a quaint little county that hosts many interesting things, such as the Custer County Art and Heritage Center, which opened in 1977, and the WaterWorks Art Museum, which is a non-profit organization, also established the same year. Other than those, there are multiple shopping opportunities, tours, and outdoor adventures, which is great if you are traveling with family.
The population estimate of Custer County, Montana, as of 2019 is 11,209 with a household median income of $52,965. Custer county is also known as one of the healthiest places in Montana. The fresh air, beautiful landscapes, and surprisingly clean drinking water add two years to the life expectancy of Custer County citizens.
It also boasts exceptional weather, beautiful natural scenery, and varied topography that attracts tourists and locals from all over the state.
Visit the Custer County Government website.
- May – World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale – Miles
- August – PRCA Rodeo with Chuck Wagon Races and Mighty Thomas Carnival – Miles
Tongue River Winery
Famous for being the only winery in South Eastern Montana to have won seventy-five medals, the Tongue River Winery distributes delicious grapes and exotic fruit wines to forty-one states. It is a family-owned business that slowly grew into the large-scale wine distributor it is today.
The winery produces traditional grape wines as well as rose fruit wines, all of which you can try when you visit their facility. It is located in Miles so you enjoy a scenic drive to the place, too.
Range Riders Museum
If you wish to explore a bit of history that Custer County preserves of eastern Montana, then you can head on over to the Range Riders Museum. Here, you get guided tours through the little museum and get to see the well-preserved artifacts that belonged to General Custer and General Miles.
The most valuable exhibit is the museum’s collection of guns and arrowheads, which are displayed for anyone who might be interested in the lives and history of the soldiers and pioneers of this range county of the Great Plains. Visitors can easily spend the day exploring this magnificent building, but tours are mostly prearranged by appointment, so it’s best to book your visit beforehand.
Pirogue Island State Park
Two miles north of the city of Miles, this beautiful public park is open to all. It is an attractive recreation area on an island at the Yellowstone River. The park offers picturesque views surrounded by cottonwood trees, and is isolated enough to give it the perfect location for some hunting, bird watching, and boating.
For families, there is the added excitement of wildlife tours where they can spot animals such as the bald eagle, various waterfowls, fox squirrels, mule deer, and whitetail deer. It is also an ideal vacation destination for having a picnic with many facilities offered, such as grills, maps, fire rings, and toilets. An added benefit is that guests are allowed to bring over their pets so the whole family can have a little adventure.
The best time to channel cross towards the island, however, is mid-august. So if you wish to add that to your list of things to do when visiting the island, be sure to time your visit right.