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Big Sky Chronicles

Big Sky Chronicles: Airplane Beacon

HELENA - Standing tall at the top of MacDonald Pass is a beacon that helped lay the groundwork for the beginnings of nighttime flight across Montana. "This one was built in 1935 and it was...

Big Sky Chronicles: The MacDonald Pass Section House

HELENA - There's a brown house that sits at the top of MacDonald Pass and serves an important purpose. It's been there since the 1930's when the federal government wanted to create jobs and stimulate the...

Big Sky Chronicles: The Frenchwoman’s Road

HELENA - The road west out of Helena climbs to just over 6,300 feet and reaches what is now known as MacDonald Pass. But the first road to bring travelers into and out of the...

Big Sky Chronicles: Securing old lime kiln as part of Helena’s history

HELENA - There's a trail on the edge of Helena, off a quiet southside cul de sac, that leads to a relic more than a century old, which helped build the Capital City during its earliest days. "You just park...

Big Sky Chronicles: historic Helena sign restored

HELENA- Two Helena area families worked to restore a historic ghost sign over the Labor Day weekend. Ghost signs are old hand painted advertising that has been preserved beyond the life of the business. The Palmquist...

Big Sky Chronicles: 44th annual history conference

HELENA - The Montana Historical Society is gearing up for its annual history conference, coming in September. The 44th annual event will be held in Helena this year and will focus on Montana in 1917. This...

Big Sky Chronicles: Historic cemeteries in Montana

HELENA - The Montana History Foundation recently announced it is receiving a grant from the National Park Service: one of 12 grants given nationwide and the only one in Montana. The $25,000 grant will be used for...

Big Sky Chronicles: Historic Helena Tours

HELENA - The Lewis and Clark County Historical Society is continuing its summer-long series on historic neighborhoods with a new tour in the month of August. The next two Sundays they'll hold tours of the...

Big Sky Chronicles: Preserving Montana’s history with the public’s help

HELENA - Whether you’re a long-time resident, a snowbird or just a visitor to the Treasure State, we all have one or two special places that we call our favorites. Now state officials are asking...

Big Sky Chronicles: Preserving Montana’s film archives

HELENA - The archives of the Montana Historical Society are home to many important documents and photographs that tell the state’s story.  Among the shelves, however, is a lesser known collection that holds some...

Big Sky Chronicles: Montana’s famous cowgirl

HELENA - Another Last Chance Stampede and Fair kicks off in Helena this week. One of Montana's best-known cowgirls was raised on a ranch near the Gates of the Mountains and was on a horse...

Big Sky Chronicles: Montana Genealogy

HELENA - When we think of history, we’re tempted to think of names, places and dates. However, for genealogists looking to find their family heritage, history is a very personal experience that can take...

Big Sky Chronicles: Annual Indian Taco and Fry Bread Sale

HELENA - The lawn at Montana's Historical Society is being transformed every Monday in July, as the Last Chance Community Powwow holds its annual Indian taco and fry bread sale. The event also included drumming...

Helena’s earthquake history

HELENA - Helena's last major earthquake happened in October of 1935. It started with a small quake Oct. 3, followed by a 5.9 on Oct.12 and a devastating 6.2 on Oct. 18. Historian Ellen Baumler said...

Big Sky Chronicles: Montana’s Capitol cornerstone

HELENA - Tucked into the northwest corner of Montana's State Capitol you'll find its cornerstone, set July 4, 1899. "They had Bell and Kent, the architects, make this specific cornerstone so the north face would...

Big Sky Chronicles: A look at Montana’s most colorful territorial governor

HELENA - Montana’s Big Sky Country is home to many larger than life personalities…men and women who, mostly for better, but sometimes for worse, have helped shape our history. One of the most colorful and...

Big Sky Chronicles: History of fishing in Montana

HELENA - Montana has more than 170,000 miles of rivers and more than 3,000 lakes and reservoirs. All of that water comes with an abundance of fish. The Montana Historical Society has just opened...

Big Sky Chronicles: Preserving Montana’s Korean War veterans’ stories

HELENA - This July marks 64 years since the end of the Korean War.  Of the Montanans who served, 138 did not come home. The stories of some of those who did, now reside in...

Big Sky Chronicles: Historical Society bookstore goes digital

HELENA - The Montana Historical Society has a new way to bring you closer to history and it's just a click or two away. The museum bookstore is now online.  That means you can search...

Big Sky Chronicles: A soldier’s love letters keep his spirit alive

HELENA - On Memorial Day, there are many ways to remember those who served our country. At the Montana Historical Society in Helena, there is a collection of letters that heartbreakingly illustrates the experience of...

Big Sky Chronicles: Teepee conservation

HELENA - Last week, the Montana Historical Society welcomed an 'objects conservator' to Helena to work on two teepees held in its collection. Objects Conservator Nancy Fonicello is using her expertise to help conserve a Cree-style...

Big Sky Chronicles: Montana’s transmission towers

HELENA - Between Great Falls and Butte run more than 2,000 transmission towers that you may drive by all the time, and never know their lengthy history. The towers run through the Helena valley, starting...

Big Sky Chronicles: ‘Bold Women in Montana History’

HELENA - It's just less than a week until Mother's Day. The Montana Historical Society's free admission 'Second Saturday' coincides with the holiday weekend and offers a perfect opportunity to celebrate Mom with a lecture...

Big Sky Chronicles: The historic Fire Tower

HELENA - Earlier this year, Helena city officials began discussing the future of the historic Fire Tower after it was damaged by arson in August of 2016. After the fire, the city contracted with the...

Big Sky Chronicles: Montana’s craft brewing history

HELENA - Craft brewing in Montana has evolved considerably over the past few decades and its place in Montana history has not gone unnoticed. "It didn't just come about overnight.  It was a gradual progression...