Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Charles Russel Museum, Great Falls Montana

4 June 2017

Russel is an important American artist devoted to the West, Native Americans and cowboys.  Born in St Louis just before the end of the Civil War, he dreamed of becoming a cowboy.  He went west at the age of 16 and settled in Montana where he lived for the rest of his life.  His art reflects how he saw the West and his total devotion to preserving images of a way of life now gone. 

                                    His studio

Russel died on 27 Oct 1926 and had an old-fashioned Montana funeral.  

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Havre, MT Beneath the Streets

3 June 2017

After leaving the Fort Peck Dam, we headed to Havre, MT.  We spent the night just outside of town at the Hansen Family Campground.  It was an overnight campground with friendly owners and a lot of animals running around.  Our plans for a social evening fell apart with the cool temps and a steady wind of 25 MPH blowing the whole time we were there.

On our way to Great falls, MT, we stopped in downtown Havre.  We had heard about the underground town tour and decided to check it out.  The town was established in the late 1800’s as a railroad hub that helped open up the West.  It was truly a wild west kind of town in those early days and continued to prosper thru the hay days of the railroads.

In 1904 the town suffered a huge fire in the downtown district that destroyed many of the businesses in the district. Rather than close shop during the reconstruction of the buildings, the businesses moved into the underground basement of the destroyed structures above.  These underground structures remained active long after the surface buildings were rebuilt.  As late as the 1920’s it was an active area involving bootlegging and bordellos.

Today these underground businesses have been preserved as an interesting part of the town’s history.  We had a guided tour with reenactors answering questions about what it was like living and working in the underground town.