Enjoy Billings history by visiting our favorite museums while you’re in town!
From Native Americans to 19th century settlers, Billings has seen a lot of history and you can too!
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The Yellowstone County Museum features a collection of Ghost Dance regalia collected by Larry Williams. He has been collecting the Ghost Dance artifacts for 20 years and even has a shirt worn by Chief Sitting Bull's son Louis. Some of the artifacts date back to the 1850s. This exhibit is called "Waiting for the Earth to Move: the 1890 Ghost Dance." (Photo by @brontewittpenn) #ghostdance #culture #lakota #sioux #hunkpapalakota #arapahoe #yellowstonecountymuseum #billings #museum #artifact #history
This museum is excellent for an overall view of Montana history. With exhibits covering Native American history, settlement by Americans in covered wagons, and even life through the turn of the century, you can see the growth and development of the state as time passes before your eyes. View ancient indigenous beadwork and a pioneer wagon that settlers used to transport their belongings across the country. There’s even an exhibit on the evolution of emergency services as the city grew and technology improved.
Located in a building from 1901, the Western Heritage Center features a number of exhibits covering a range of topics, from the development of Yellowstone National Park to the coal mining that built the town. Particularly interesting is their tribal histories displays, which discuss both historical and cultural aspects of the Native American tribes that were located in the area, including the Crow, the Blackfoot, and the Cheyenne.
Moss Mansion is a house built in 1903 that was built by Preston Boyd Moss and featured the latest technology in personal life at the time, including heated plumbing and even rotary phones. The house itself has some stunning architecture, which has led to it being featured in movies, and provides a fascinating snapshot of life at the turn of the century, in contrast to the luxuries people take for granted today.
Oscar’s Park is more of a small village, featuring a number of historical buildings. See an old general store, the first schoolhouse to be built in the county, a historical jail, and the church, which has the oldest steeple in Billings. It’s an interesting peek at the communities that existed during the 19th century.