Me and Bert Learn About Being Cowboys and other Montana History
Me and Bert got to talking one night and agreed we’d both make great cowboys, with the 10-gallon hats, chaps, boots, spurs … the whole works. We asked Director Jeff if we could be cowboys and he told us there’s a lot more to it that just the outfit, and suggested we visit the Yellowstone County Museum to learn more about what it takes to be real Billings cowboys. So that’s just what we did.
We learned two things right away. First, Director Jeff was right – it appears as though being a cowboy is pretty hard work. And, second, the Yellowstone County Museum is home to a lot of great exhibits and artifacts that cover the entire history of the region (not just cowboy stuff).
Our favorite parts of the museum were probably the Coulson City Saloon, which taught us what the Montana bar scene was like in the 1890s and had stuff like an old piano and card table (I wonder if it was a stop on the Billings Brew Trail…), and the McCormick Cabin, which showed us how wealthy cattlemen lived back in the day.
I actually wish we had brought Fierca with us, because there was a whole exhibit about how women used to ride horses back in the day, and she is supposedly training to become a professional for equestrian competitions.
Uki, our badger friend, also would have liked the museum because they have an exhibit on prehistoric Montana that includes not only old tools and whatnot, but also a replica archaeological site. Uki loves to dig, and I’m sure she’d find this exhibit educational and useful in her work.
One of the most impressive sites is the museum’s public display of Ghost Dance objects – the largest such display in the whole world. The Ghost Dance was a Native American religious movement in the late 1800s. If you would like to learn more, I suggest you check out the museum’s website or stop by for a visit like I did.
Me and Bert learned that maybe we aren’t cut out for cowboy life after all. But we loved our visit to the Yellowstone County Museum and learning all about the history of our adopted home of Montana.