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Gallatin History Museum, Bozeman, Montana

For a glimpse back into the history of early Gallatin County, Montana, the Gallatin History Museum is the perfect place to visit for a few hours or all day.

A life-size pioneer cabin, agriculture exhibits, music exhibits, women’s history, and historic jail information all draw in learners for a fun, interactive experience the whole family can enjoy.

What is there to do and see at the Gallatin History Museum?

bozeman, montana

The Gallatin History Museum boasts more than 20,000 historic images touching on topics surrounding the history of the Gallatin Valley and Montana.

The museum holds permanent exhibits including the Big Horn Gun, a life-size pioneer cabin to explore, exhibits on the women of the West, agriculture, music, and the history of the jail.

If you’re into research and study, you can set an appointment to visit the archives of the research library as well.

The newspapers, oral histories, maps, yearbooks, family histories, local history books, and information on Montana, as well as Lewis and Clark, will keep you reading for hours if you choose!

Is there a gift shop at the Gallatin History Museum?

The museum is home to a marvelous bookstore containing hard-to-find books and materials that cover the history of Gallatin County, Montana, Lewis and Clark, and much more.

What’s the history of the Gallatin History Museum itself?

In 1977, the Gallatin Historical Society was founded and moved into two rooms of the country jail building just two years later.

The old building was built in 1911, so it was already considered a historic site – making it the perfect place for the historical society to set up shop.

Finally, in 1982, the remaining prisoners were moved to the new Law and Justice Building, and the building was granted by the country commissioners to the Society for use as a museum.

The Pioneer Museum was formed at that time but changed its name in 2014 to Gallatin History Museum to more fully encompass the mission and vision of the nonprofit group.

How do I find out what’s going on at the Gallatin History Museum?

gallatin history museum
Image: gallatinhistorymuseum

Whether you’re in town for a day or a year, the Gallatin History Museum is likely to have its doors open and engaging events and activities the whole family will enjoy.

Be sure to check out their information to ensure, though, that you’ve got everything covered before you pop over.

  • 317 W Main St, Bozeman, MT
  • (406)522-8122
  • https://www.gallatinhistorymuseum.org/
  • Hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 am to 4 pm
  • Closed Sundays and Mondays
  • Season: Year-round
  • Fees: Adults $7.50, 17 and under free
  • Discounts: MSU student $5 with ID, Seniors (62+) $5, Military $5
  • Adult group tours: $10 to $20 per adult, based on time
  • Youth tours: $3 per student K to 12, chaperones/teachers free
  • Research Library accessible by appointment only

What Kind of Events Happen at the Gallatin History Museum?

The Gallatin History Museum frequently hosts and co-hosts events for all ages.

Some of the most recent events have included The Gallatin Way to Yellowstone, Native Americans in Big Sky and Gallatin Canyon, Murder and Mayhem in Gallatin County, Skeleton (Keys) in the Closet, and the occasional guided history tour through the city.

Be sure to check their calendar for specific events while you’re in town.

What else is going on at the Gallatin History Museum?

The Gallatin History Museum has many projects going on that draw from and helps to preserve the history of the area.

Spring Hill Cemetery

The final resting place of many unique and intriguing individuals, the Spring Hill Cemetery has been “adopted” by the Gallatin History Museum, the Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society, and others to be preserved.

Find the maps for sections to make your way through the cemetery to see famous sites and learn more about the history of the region.

Self-Guided Area Tours

Another project you may find of interest is a collection of self-guided tours for the area. There are three areas of focus for the tours, including the Bozeman Historic Neighborhood filled with upright farmhouses, Victorian mansions, and more.

Bozeman’s Historic Main Street is perfect for a leisurely walk down Main Street, observing the Art Deco, Mission Revival, and Italianate architecture and history, as well as neon signs, and the revolving yellow horse.

Finally, the Historic Sunset Hills Cemetery Tour takes you through the historic cemetery where you’ll learn more about the history of the area and the unique history of the cemetery itself.

Conclusion

The Gallatin History Museum, housed in the old Historic Jail of Bozeman, is a wonderful, interactive place for kids and grown-ups alike to learn and explore the history of Gallatin County, Montana, and the Wild Old West.

Learn the history, take tours, explore the region, research local lore, or browse books at the museum bookstore – you’re bound to find intrigue and mystery wherever you turn with the unique history of the region revealing itself at every turn.

 

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