Library Happenings

History roundup: Montana 

by KellyAnne Terry, director

A few weekends ago I helped out at the induction ceremony for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. During the ceremony, a short bio of the inductee is read out loud, and a large group of family and friends gather together to accept the award. Eventually the Montana Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center will have a brick and mortar museum in Big Timber, Montana. This year’s inductees include Helena native Gary Cooper, local Lewistown ranching couple Clint and Sharon Martin, Gilt Edge cowboy George R. “Sonny” Smith, the Park Horse Saddle Company of Glacier Park, and the colorful character “Indian Jack” Hart.

I am proud to be a member of the fifth-generation of a Montana ranching family, and my great-grandfather, Elmer Weaver, was inducted in 2013. What I enjoy most about this event is the incredible stories told and lives lived of the Hall of Fame inductees. These stories conjure up tales of rodeo, homesteading, cowboy artists, rank-bucking horses, tribal chiefs, legacy ranches, and anything promoting the Western way of life.

This week I would like to bring your attention to the wonderful Montana history section we have at the Lewistown Public Library. Legends abound in this corner of the library, legends as different as our Montana landscape.

One of my favorite books in this section is “Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One’s Own” edited by Sarah Carter. This book follows the lives of solo women homesteaders who bought land and tried to prove up on it. Some were schoolteachers, some were ranchers, but all of them were gritty, determined women with strong minds and hearts. Another favorite is “We Pointed Them North: Reflections of a Cowpuncher” by Teddy Blue Abbott, which tells in his own words the years he spent trailing cattle to Montana from Texas and punching cows in the 1870’s and 1880’s as a stockman on the unfenced Montana ranges.

Looking even farther back is “People Before the Park: The Kootenai and Blackfeet Before Glacier Park” by Sally Thompson. Before people went to Glacier Park as tourists, the Kootenai and Blackfeet tribes’ territories fell within the boundary of the park. This book tells the traditions of these peoples from legends and spiritual beliefs to hunting techniques.

For a little rabblerousing, you can check out “Tiger of the Wild Bunch” by Gary A. Wilson that describes the life and death of outlaw Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan. Also commenting on the wild and wooly is Ken Robison’s “Yankees and Rebels on the Upper Missouri: Steamboats, Gold and Peace.” These tidbits are just a small portion of the Montana History Collection -- there are many more subjects that call this area home and are just waiting to be discovered. 


“I Love to Read” month

  February is “I Love to Read” month. Drop in and check out some new titles or try our digital formats on MTLibrary2GO.


Library Friends

  The quarterly Library Friends meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 12 p.m. in the Library upstairs meeting room. These meetings are open to the public.



Federal tax forms and instruction booklets are now available at the library front desk. One per patron, please.


Story Time schedule

Infant, toddler and preschool story time is scheduled for the first and third Friday of each month at 10:30 a.m. Play group is the second and fourth Friday of each month at 10:30 a.m.


Book Station news

The next book sale is Saturday, March 4 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Book Station. All proceeds benefit the library.


Coming up

  Roman Culture Night is Wednesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room. This event is free and open to the public.


Library hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday – Friday and Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. We are closed Sunday and Monday. Contact us by phone at 538-5212, or e-mail Our card catalog may be viewed on our webpage:, as well as our downloadable audio books, e-books, and Heritage Quest Online.


Where is your favorite place to go camping in Central Montana?