Founded in 1939, the Range Riders Museum is one of the state’s most recognized “Old West” museums.
Featuring over 13 buildings and thousands of artifacts that range from the prehistoric dinosaurs to 20th-century ranching communities, the Range Rider Museum offers one of the most authentic portrayals of eastern Montana throughout history.
What is the Range Riders Museum?
Serving Miles City and the rest of Montana with authentic “Old West” artifacts for over 80 years, the Range Riders Museum has become one of the premier destinations chronicling Montana’s storied past.
The museum’s 13 acres are occupied by 13 historic buildings and over 38,000 square feet of the display area.
Exhibits include everything from dinosaur fossils and the history of the Native Americans to the industrialization of the region’s ranching communities and even the colonial conflicts that have occurred in the state.
There is no better place in all of Montana to learn the complete history of the state than at Range Riders Museum. When visiting Miles City or the surrounding area, be sure to stop by for a tour of the grounds.
What is there to see and do at the Range Riders Museum?
After 80 years of collecting thousands of artifacts, the Range Riders Museum has more exhibits and relics than can be listed. Below are just some of the top exhibitions currently featured in the museum’s 13-building complex.
Main Street: Old Miles Town
The museum’s outdoor Main Street offers visitors a preserved example of the Old Miles Town, in a time before modernization created what is now Miles City.
The street features such historic buildings as the U.S Marshall and Jail, the Conservancy for Music, the Grey Mule Saloon, the Post office, the Drug Store, Bob’s Barber Shop, the Macqueen House, and much more.
Guests to Main Street are welcome to enter all of the buildings featured in Old Miles Town, where they will discover that each building is lined with a myriad of related artifacts ready for perusal.
Walking along the Old Miles Town Road is a quintessential experience when visiting the Range Riders Museum. The authentic Main Street transports guests back to the time of the Old West and readies them for all the other historical artifacts they are about to uncover.
Occupying the largest building of Range Rider Museum’s 13-acre complex is the historic Wagon Depot.
Featuring a massive collection of antique cars and wagons, the pole barn display offers guests a look at the industrialization of Montana through the development of its automotive advancements.
While many of the vehicles featured in this display are worn and dusty, each piece is timeless and tells a story of times gone by.
Texas Longhorns in Montana
In the 19th century, state borders were not as evident as today. In the West, the range was wide open, and the fields were endless. There was no such thing as ranching zones; instead, cattle grazed wherever their herders could find water.
Miles City offered the perfect atmosphere for cattle with the nearby Yellowstone River, and by 1866 Texas Longhorns and their cowboys called the region home.
Small ranches sprung up across the countryside, and the region quickly became defined by its prominent ranching community.
From brands to fenceposts, the Range Rider Museum preserves many artifacts from Miles City’s early ranching communities.
Visitors to the museum can witness first-hand the tools and innovations Montana ranchers once used to shape the state as we know it.
Moved to the Range Riders Museum from its original homestead, the complex’s Ranch House of the West is an authentic preservation of a 19th-century residential building in Western Montana.
Complete with a wood-burning stove, a tin coffee pot, a chamber pail, and a wooden cradle, the Ranch House offers guests a vision of what the isolated life of an early Montana family must have been like.
While the Range Riders Museum features several exhibits of the 19th-century Montana community and work life, the museum’s Ranch House offers the greatest representation of the inhabitant’s private lives.
Bert Clarke Gun Collection
Perhaps the Ranger Riders Museum’s most famous exhibit, Bert Clarke’s Gun Collection has attracted visitors from around the world.
Along with its diverse varieties of firearms, the collection also features one of the largest assemblies of arrowheads and sabers.
Some of the collection’s proudest pieces include an 1852 .44 cal. double action pistol and an 1858 Remington .44 cal. pistol from the Civil War.
Also in the group is a French Flintlock pistol circa 1770 and a late 1800s 12-gauge double-barrel, open hammer, lever under the trigger shotgun from England.
How to Visit the Range Riders Museum
The Range Riders Museum opens from April 15th to October 15th and operates from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Wednesday through Monday. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and throughout the Winter months.
Admission fees for the museum are as follows:
- Adults – $10.00
- Seniors (60+) – $8.00
- High School, College – $5.00
- Jr. High, Elementary – $3.00
- Younger – Free
With thousands of artifacts collected over more than 80 years, the Ranch Riders Museum offers guests one of the most accurate displays of Montana culture.
While its exhibits feature everything from prehistoric dinosaurs to modern industrialization, the museum has become predominantly known as one of the state’s premier “Old West” museums thanks to its many turn of the 20th-century artifacts.
Be sure to contact the museum ahead of time for information regarding your visit to the iconic Range Rider Museum in Miles City, Montana.