Dear Friends of The Extreme History Project,

Posted: November 30, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Heartfelt thanks to our community and family of supporters for helping make 2022 a red letter year for us — or should we say,  a red carpet year!

We hope to do it all again, and more in 2023 but we need your help to make that happen. Please consider The Extreme History Project during your end-of-year giving. A gift of $25, $50 or more would help us with our mission to Make History Relevant. Click here to donate.

To recap 2022, we launched our lecture series in January with an on-line presentation outlining the whys, wherefores, and impact of historic preservation.  Subsequent lectures, coupled with our Dirt on the Past podcasts, covered a wide spectrum of topical subjects, such as Indian Boarding schools, Genetic History of the Americas, and Montana Highway Tales.

Our book club kicked off in February with a timely and relevant book entitled Clara’s Journal and the Tale of Two Pandemics.  Revolving around the theme of women’s lives in the American west, our bimonthly book selections stimulated spirited discussions among participants. Throughout the year, we hosted authors Molly Rozum and Laura Arata for in-house book readings and signings, co-sponsored Michael Johnson’s talk and signing of his new book, A Black Women’s West, capping off with a virtual presentation featuring New York Times bestseller and award winning author Jane Kirkpatrick.

Partnering with several other organizations, including MSU’s Ivan Doig Center, we celebrated Women’s History month in March with a variety of pertinent presentations and book readings, such Birthing the West by Jennifer Hill, focusing on the impact of women’s efforts in fomenting change in their communities.

Our walking tour guides were back in full swing this summer entertaining residents and visitors with the engaging histories of the places and people who shaped Bozeman. Our new Galligator Trail walking tour, exploring the old railway line that once ran to Gallatin Gateway, proved to be a big hit. We offered a number of special tours as well. Authors of the book Where in Bozeman led a tour pointing out many unique and hidden features highlighted in their book. We cohosted tours for both the Lehrkind and Story family descendants.

August found us strutting our stuff at the Sweet Pea parade.  Dressed in period attire as notable Bozeman historic figures, we braved the soggy weather to stroll down Main Street tossing candy and meeting and greeting the spectators. 

And rolling out the red carpet, The Story of Us: The Women Who Shaped Montana, a documentary highlighting the accomplishments of four women who helped shape Montana, premiered in Helena with additional showings in Bozeman, Butte, Missoula and Virginia City.  Montana PBS also included this film, a collaboration between North by Northwest and The Extreme History Project, as part of their Thanksgiving day programming.  Plans for episodes 2 & 3 of the documentary are already in the works!

After a two year hiatus due to Covid, we raised the dead and, as our Halloween special, held our ever popular History After Dark event.  The “ghosts” of John Bozeman, Nelson and Ellen Story, madam Lizzie Woods and a myriad of other characters recounted their colorful and sometimes tragic lives.

Other projects included two workshops, Cemetery History and Symbolism and an instructional workshop put together for the Bozeman Preservation Advisory Board on how to document historical properties.  We have been providing research assistance to the city of Bozeman in an ongoing survey of historical homes and sites for several years.

All of this is in addition to maintaining our in house gift shop and used book shop and hosting special events like our puzzle exchanges and our annual Victorian Holiday Open House.

As you can see, we are a small non-profit with a big agenda and even bigger goals.  We have been able to accomplish our mission of bringing history to the community in large part because of your generous donations and support.  As they say, “it takes a village.”  Every dollar given is put into research and resources needed to create fresh, exciting, pertinent programming.  Thank you for being the fuel that drives us forward and inspires us to achieve more every year. Thank you in advance for your continued support. Click here to donate.

The Holidays Have Arrived!

Posted: November 24, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

We have some fun events coming up this holiday season

November 24 – The film, The Story of Us: The Women Who Shaped Montana airs on Montana PBS Thursday (Thanksgiving) at 7pm. This short film follows the inspiring stories of three Montana women, Sarah Bickford, Maggie Smith Hathaway and Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail. Tune-in and learn how they helped enrich and shape the Montana we know today. Extreme History collaborated on the creation of this film with funding provided by The Greater Montana Foundation, Humanities Montana, The Montana History Foundation and the Montana Film Office.

November 26Small Business Saturday Sale at The Extreme History Project headquarters. All gift shop items, new books, and used books will be 10% off! Come on down to shop for all the history lovers on your list. We are located at 234 E. Mendenhall Street in Bozeman and we’ll be open from noon to 5pm.

November 29#GivingTuesday! Our mission is to make history relevant but we can’t do that without your help! This Giving Tuesday we ask for your support. We are a small non-profit with a big agenda and even bigger goals. We have been able to accomplish our mission of bringing history to the community in large part because of your generous donations and support. As they say, “it takes a village.” Every dollar given goes into research and resources needed to create fresh, exciting, pertinent programming. Thank you for being the fuel that drives us forward and inspires us to achieve more every year. Click here to donate!

December 3Extreme History Holiday Market and Open House! Join us for cocoa, hot apple cider and sweet treats during the Bozeman Christmas Stroll from 4:30 to 7:30. Our gift shop and used book shop will be open for your shopping pleasure. Find a gift for the history lover in your family, or something just for you! We are located at 234 E. Mendenhall Street in Bozeman.

We hope to see you at one of these events this holiday season! We are grateful for our wonderful community (that’s you), and we look forward to celebrating this holiday season with you!

The Great Puzzle Exchange!

Posted: November 4, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Do you love to put together puzzles during the holidays – we sure do! If you have puzzles you would like to exchange, come on in to The Extreme History Headquarters (234 E. Mendenhall in Bozeman, MT) and drop off your gently used puzzles and pick out a new one for free! Our used Book Shop and Extreme History Gift Shop will be open during that time as well so you can start your holiday shopping early. We look forward to seeing you there! Saturday, November 5 from 10am to 5pm. we are located at 234 E. Mendenhall in Bozeman, MT.

Sunday, October 30 at 4pm. Join us for a stroll through historic Sunset Hills Cemetery with tour guide, Jessica Jones. Step back in time as you walk through this historic graveyard, learning about mysterious local legends, spooky folklore, and local history. Keep watch because you may catch a glimpse of a spirit or two, drifting through the headstones. Meet Jessica at the cemetery gates located at the south side of Lindley Park a few minutes before 4pm on October 30. Space is limited so secure tickets early. To purchase tickets click here.

History After Dark: Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past!

Posted: September 15, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Join us for this spooky night of fun on Friday October 14! Click here for tickets.

Encounter the ghosts of Halloween past on this self-guided tour of downtown Bozeman where you’ll meet notable people from Bozeman’s past. Ready to encounter the ghosts of Halloween Past?
Take a step back in time and meet the colorful characters who shaped Bozeman.
For one night only, The Extreme History Project is bringing such notables as Nelson Story, Lizzie Woods, and John Bozeman back from the grave to tell their stories. Hear about their exploits and learn about life in this area as Bozeman struggled to become a town. Your self-guided journey will take you down Main and Mendenhall streets to meet “soiled doves,” salacious madams, mystic mediums, and other bold inhabitants of this western town. Tales of ghosts, murder and mayhem, frontier justice, brothels, and more will be told by our resurrected dead. This year’s tour will introduce some intriguing new cast members to delight you with their sagas.
This tour is offered Friday night, October 14th, at 7:00, 7:10, 7:20 and 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

The Extreme History Lecture Series

Posted: September 9, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Join us for a presentation with John Russell at the Museum of the Rockies at 6pm!

September 15 – George B. Herendeen – Custer Scout from Bozeman. In-person event at The Museum of the Rockies. 6pm

George Herendeen (1846-1919) was a Bozeman pioneer, cowboy, prospector, explorer, and a lead scout for George Custer’s 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn. In the aftermath of Custer’s defeat, accusations flew against his two subordinates, Captain Frederick Benteen and Major Marcus Reno, accusing them of cowardice and failure to obey orders. These two army officers became the scapegoats for Custer’s annihilation. In 1879, the U.S. army held a court of inquiry for Major Reno that would include testimony from dozens of survivors of the Last Stand, including Herendeen. Local historian John Russell will look at Herendeen’s testimony and how it was interpreted by both Custer supporters and detractors.

This 40-minute documentary examines the extraordinary lives of four women who came from humble beginnings and achieved incredible feats despite obstacles and tragedies along the way.

Women have always played important developmental roles in the history of Montana. The stories of Sarah Bickford, Rose Hum Lee, Maggie Smith Hathaway, and Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail are individually unique, but all feature a strong Montana woman determined to do better and be better. It’s time to celebrate their achievements, understand their faults, and applaud the spirits that drove them to help shape Montana.

Join us at The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT at 6pm on September 7th. This screening is free and open to the public.

There will be a question/answer session after the screening with producers Kimberly Hogberg and Crystal Alegria, and with content expert, Diane Sands.

This is a production of North by Northwest and The Extreme History Project with support from The Montana History Foundation, Humanities Montana, The Montana Film Office, and the Greater Montana Foundation.

Walking Tours This Week!

Posted: August 30, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Can’t believe The Extreme History Project summer walking tour season is almost done . . . but it’s not over yet! Here is what we have for you this week!

Tuesday, August 30 at 6pm. We are offering our NEW TOURAlong the Gallagator for the last time this season. Meet your tour guide at the south end of the Bozeman Public Library Parking Lot. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Wednesday, 6pm. Eclectic Communities: Bozeman’s North Side. Meet your guide at Beall Recreation Park located at 415 N. Bozeman. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Thursday, 6pm. Business and Pleasure: Bozeman’s Historic Red-Light District. Meet your tour guide at 234 E. Mendenhall. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Sunday, 1pm. Tents to Town: Bozeman Historic Main Street. Meet your guide at 234 E. Mendenhall. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Sunday, 4pm. Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past: Bozeman’s Historic Sunset Hills Cemetery. Meet your tour guide at the entrance to Sunset Hills located at the south side of Lindley Park. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Look forward to seeing you on a tour!

Join us for a Walking Tour!

Posted: August 23, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Before the end of the season, which is quickly approaching, and find out WHERE HISTORY HAPPENED.

Murders, Madams, and Mediums: Bozeman’s Dark Side – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm AND Saturday, August 27th at 3pm.
Where to Meet: The Extreme History Project, 234 E. Mendenhall Street

Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past: Sunset Hills Cemetery – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: Sundays at 4pm
Where to Meet: Entrance to Sunset Hills Cemetery, located off of East Main Street directly south of Lindley Park

Business and Pleasure: Bozeman’s Historic Red Light District – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: Thursdays at 6pm
Where to Meet: The Extreme History Project, 234 E. Mendenhall Street

Tents to Town: Bozeman’s Historic Main Street – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: Sundays at 1pm
Where to Meet: The Extreme History Project, 234 E. Mendenhall Street

NEW TOUR – Along the Gallagator: History of the Railway, South Tracy, and More! 
When: August 30 at 6pm
Where to Meet: The south end of the Bozeman Public Library (626 E Main Street) parking lot

Seeking Fortunes: Bozeman’s Historic China Alley – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: August 24 at 6pm
Where to Meet: 234 E. Mendenhall Street

Eclectic Communities: Bozeman’s North Side – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: August 31 at 6pm
Where to Meet: The Beall Recreation Center, located at 415 North Bozeman Avenue.

To purchase tickets for a tour, click on the tour below or give us a call at  406-220-2678, or send us an email at info@extremehistoryproject.org. Tours are $15, $13 for seniors, members and students, kids 12 and under are free!

Murders, Madams, and Mediums: Bozeman’s Dark Side – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm
Where to Meet: The Extreme History Project, 234 E. Mendenhall Street

Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past: Sunset Hills Cemetery – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: Sundays at 4pm
Where to Meet: Entrance to Sunset Hills Cemetery, located off of East Main Street directly south of Lindley Park

Business and Pleasure: Bozeman’s Historic Red Light District – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: Thursdays at 6pm (and August 18th at Noon)
Where to Meet: The Extreme History Project, 234 E. Mendenhall Street

Tents to Town: Bozeman’s Historic Main Street – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: Sundays at 1pm
Where to Meet: The Extreme History Project, 234 E. Mendenhall Street

NEW TOUR – Along the Gallagator: History of the Railway, South Tracy, and More! 
When: July 25, August 2, August 15, and August 30 at 6pm
Where to Meet: The south end of the Bozeman Public Library (626 E Main Street) parking lot

Gracious Gables: Bozeman’s Historic Bon Ton District – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: July 13 at 6pm
Where to Meet: The Story Mansion located at 811 S. Willson Avenue

Seeking Fortunes: Bozeman’s Historic China Alley – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
When: August 24 at 6pm
Where to Meet: 234 E. Mendenhall Street

Lehrkind Walking Northeast Walking Tour with Laurel Sparks – Click here for more info and to purchase tickets (In collaboration with Tinworks and Julius Lehrkind Brewing) (This tour is full)
When: August 6, 2:30pm
Where to Meet: Tinworks Art located at 719 N Ida Ave, Bozeman, MT

It’s time to GIVE BIG!

Posted: May 5, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Give Big Gallatin Valley is TODAY, and we ask you to join us in our efforts to make this the best day of giving your community has ever seen!

Click here to donate.

Your donation of any amount will help us provide you with high quality history programming like our lecture series, podcast, walking tours, workshops, book club, book-signing events, and so much more!

For GIVE BIG this year, donors that give $150 and above will receive two tickets to the debut of our newest historic walking tour “Along the Gallagator,” a tour featuring the history of the railway and now linear walking trail. We won’t only cover railway history but the history of south Tracy Street as well! This tour will take place on June 7, at 6pm. 

And . . .  you can double your donation because we have two matching gifts, one from an anonymous long-time supporter of Extreme History for $500 and another from The Extreme History Board of Directors for $1,950. 

Your donation will help us continue this work in our community. Thanks in advance for your support, we GREATLY appreciate it! Click here to donate

Thank you for Giving Big to The Extreme History Project, we appreciate your support.

Join the Extreme History Project and Montana State University’s Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands & Peoples of the North American West for an evening with Mark Johnson at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT on May 17 at 6pm for this in-person event. Johnson will discuss his new book, “The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky: A History of the Chinese Experience in Montana.” Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

About “The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky”: From the earliest days of non-Native settlement of Montana, Chinese pioneers played a key role in the region’s development. Yet this population, so crucial to Montana’s development, remains underrepresented in historical accounts. The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky recovers the stories of Montana’s Chinese population in their own words and deepens understanding of Chinese experiences in Montana with a global lens. Mark Johnson has mined several large collections of primary documents left by Chinese pioneers, rendered in English here for the first time through a transnational translation project. These collections, spanning the 1880s-1950s, provide insight into the pressures the Chinese community faced—from family members back in China and from non-Chinese Montanans—as economic and cultural disturbances complicated acceptance of Chinese residents in the state. Through their own voices The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky reveals the agency of Chinese Montanans in the history of the American West and China.

Mark Johnson is an assistant professor with the University of Notre Dame whose research focuses on telling the history of Chinese communities in Montana in their own words and through a global lens.

Women’s History Month!

Posted: March 3, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

March is Women’s History Month! At Extreme History, we highlight women’s history all year long – but it’s always nice to have a month dedicated to the ladies. This month we are partnering with many organizations to bring women’s history to you!

On March 14th at 6:30pm, our Director, Crystal Alegria, will present Activists and Advocates: A History of Bozeman Women Creating Change for the Bozeman Public Library virtually, click here for more information and the Zoom link.

On March 23, Extreme History is collaborating with the MSU Library, Friends of MSU Library, MSU’s American Indian/Alaska Native Student Services, Native American Studies, Women’s Center, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office of the Dean of Students to bring you author Patricia Cutright. She will speak on her new book, Native Women Changing Their Worlds. For more information click this link.

On March 28, Extreme History is partnering with MSU’s Doig Center and American Studies Department to bring you Birthing The West: Mothers and Midwives in the Rockies and Plains, a book signing with Jennifer Hill. This in-person event will be held at Montana State University’s Leigh Lounge at 4pm. Reception to follow. We hope you can join us for one or all of these events that are all free and open to the public!

Our Extreme History Used Book Shop has a large section on women’s history so come in and pick up a book (or two, or three) to read during women’s history month.

We encourage you to learn about this history of women in your community and your own family, these histories are often significant and monumental. By weaving women’s history back into the historical narrative, we are making stories richer and more diverse.

2022 Extreme History Lecture Series Begins

Posted: January 6, 2022 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

We’ve decided to keep our lecture series virtual for the time-being so our January through May lectures will be online via Zoom.

January 20 – 6pm – Scott Carpenter and Lesley Gilmore – “Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘til it’s Gone: Historic Preservation in Bozeman”(with appreciation and apologies to Joni Mitchell). To watch this presentation click here.

This informal, but lively presentation will examine Bozeman’s unique historical context and irreplaceable collection of historic buildings. The discussion will present a brief summary of Bozeman’s history, along with the definitions, facts and benefits of historic preservation. We will also examine the many rumors and misperceptions that precede, or derail preservation efforts. We will look at the importance of historic preservation to maintaining higher property values, providing the best opportunities for green energy and conservation versus demolition and new construction, and celebrate the positive aspects of maintaining a meaningful aesthetic and neighborhood appeal. We will also present ideas for how individual property owners can investigate the history of their properties, plan for effective renovation projects, and support historic preservation efforts in Bozeman.

Scott Carpenter is an archaeologist, historian, and architectural historian. He owns InteResources Planning, Inc., and has a professional career extending over 40 years in the private sector and the National Park Service. Scott is a recognized expert on the National Historic Preservation Act and various state and local regulations, tax credit programs, and preservation planning.

Lesley Gilmore is a historic preservation architect who’s passion for historic preservation is professional and personal, evidenced by her dedicated involvement in the Association for Preservation Technology, the AIA Historic Resources Committee, Preserve Montana, and the Extreme History Project.

As we come into the last month of 2021, we are grateful for many things, the top of the list being our Extreme History community (that’s you!).

We are also grateful that we were able to launch our 2021 walking tours and even add some revamped and new tours to the mix. We were excited to take to the streets for Bozeman’s Sweet Pea parade. Our flowery float was peopled with some of Bozeman’s most colorful historic figures and included a special tribute to raise awareness for the Indian Boarding Schools story. Our The Dirt on the Past podcast in which team members discuss a wide range of topics with notable experts garnered over seven thousand listens (and counting) worldwide. Furthering our mission for educational outreach, we continued offering our lecture series via Zoom. Our online book (and wine) club also proved to be a community favorite. In June, Montana author Tom Rust was on hand to discuss and sign his latest book and in November, local author Kelly Hartman read from and signed copies of her new book. We assisted in the creation of a documentary called, The Story of Us (watch for the debut in early 2022) In addition to the ever expanding inventory of unique goodies in our Mendenhall Street office gift shop, we opened our new Extreme History Book Shop featuring specially curated used history books, covering a large variety of historical subjects.

While we have had our successes, we also have had our challenges. Several of our planned in-house events and our big fundraising program, History After Dark, were cancelled out of concern for community health safety. As is the struggle of all non-profits, The Extreme History Project needs outside funding to underwrite our mission. Bringing history to the community requires many hours of research, resources and logistical support. We have big ideas, but a small budget. Your donations are the fuel we need to keep us moving forward with pertinent content and fresh, exciting programming. Every dollar you can give brings us closer to fulfilling our goals for this upcoming year.

To help us continue our mission to MAKE HISTORY RELEVANT, please click here.

As always, thank you for your support!

If you enjoy a particular program and would like to support it directly, here are ways to help!

Support The Extreme History Project Lecture Series – $250 per lecture

Support The Extreme History Project Historic Walking Tours – $250 per walking tour

Support The Dirt on the Past Podcast – $500

Support The Extreme History Book Club – $200

Sponsor an Oral History interview and transcription – $600

Donate used history books (non-fiction) to our Extreme History Book Shop

If you are interested in any of the above options, send an email to crystal@extremehistoryproject.org or give us a call at 406-220-2678 to discuss.

Sincerely and with gratitude,

Crystal Alegria and Team Extreme

Upcoming Events at Extreme History!

Posted: November 5, 2021 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Extreme History Puzzle Exchange:
November 13 from 3pm to 5pm – The Great Puzzle Exchange! Do you love to put together puzzles during the holidays – we sure do! If you have puzzles you would like to exchange, come on in to Extreme History Headquarters (234 E. Mendenhall) and drop off your gently used puzzles and pick out a new one for free!

A Book Reading/Signing Event:
November 16 at 6pm – Murder & Mayhem in Gallatin County: A Book Reading/Signing with Kelly Hartman. At Extreme History we like to say History Isn’t Pretty, and that sums up Kelly’s new book. Quiet fields broken by gunfire, the splash of a body dropping into the Madison River, cries for help cut off into silence and the grim last words spoken on the gallows all color the bloody history of Gallatin County. Cut-and-dried murder charges, unsolved cases and questionable accusations all paint the picture of law enforcement in and around early Bozeman. From the gruesome to the mysterious, sordid accounts of robbery, crimes of passion and fatal self-defense fill the annals of the historic county jail. Gallatin History Museum curator Kelly Suzanne Hartman chronicles each tale, allowing the reader to follow along the path of the investigations and the pursuit for justice. Join us at Extreme History Headquarters (234 E. Mendenhall) on November 16 at 6pm for a book reading/signing event with Kelly Hartman. Masks are encouraged.

Gift and Book Shop Events:
November 27 from 12pm to 5pm – Extreme History Book Shop Sale – Start your holiday shopping early and join us for Small Business Saturday and enjoy a buy one, get one of equal or lesser value sale on our specially curated used history books. At Extreme History Headquarters (234 E. Mendenhall).

December 4 from 3pm to 6pm – Join us for our annual Victorian Holiday Market where you can shop early for all the history-lovers in your family. Join us at Extreme History Headquarters for this annual open house event, visit with our board members, have a cup of hot chocolate and browse the unique offerings in our gift shop, the book shop and exhibits.

A Halloween Walking Tour!

Posted: October 18, 2021 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

With Halloween on a Sunday this year, we thought it would be a great opportunity to do a walking tour through Bozeman’s historic Sunset Hills Cemetery on October 31 at 4pm! Join us for a stroll through historic Sunset Hills Cemetery on All Hallows’ Eve with tour guide, Jessica Jones. Step back in time as you walk through this historic graveyard, learning about mysterious local legends, spooky folklore, and local history. Keep watch because you may catch a glimpse of a spirit or two, drifting through the headstones. Meet Jessica at the cemetery gates located at the south side of Lindley Park a few minutes before 4pm. Space is limited so secure tickets early. For tickets click here.

Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past: Cemetery Walking Tours

Posted: October 6, 2021 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

We’re excited to offer a few more historic walking tours of Sunset Hills Cemetery on October 10th, 17th, and 24th at 4pm. Set atop a peaceful overlook, Bozeman’s historic Sunset Hills Cemetery offers a panoramic view of downtown while each evening’s sunset reflects the nature of its quiet inhabitants. The early residents of Bozeman laid their love ones to rest in this sanctified ground overlooking the town that their toil and labor helped establish. Bozeman’s early movers and shakers rest here along with others whose stories make up the town’s historical narrative. Join us for a tour of Sunset Hills Cemetery and learn the fascinating history of early Bozeman. Click here to reserve tickets.

History After Dark!

Posted: August 29, 2021 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Dear Friends,
We are disappointed to announce that we are cancelling our History After Dark event, originally scheduled for October 15th, due to the rise in Gallatin Valley Covid cases. Our community is important to us and we want to do everything we can to keep everyone, including our Extreme History volunteers, safe and healthy. If you have already purchased a ticket, you will receive a refund.
Thank you for your support and please look for our future events as the Covid situation stabilizes.

As the days get shorter and there is a touch of fall in the air – our thoughts at Extreme History turn to History After Dark! Join us for this self-guided walking tour that brings Bozeman’s past to life! On Friday, October 15, some of Bozeman’s notorious citizens will return from the grave to share their stories with the public. Participants will walk the dark streets of downtown Bozeman, hearing tales of horrific murders, gruesome hangings, and salacious madams from the mouths of the dead themselves. Tours will kick off at 7pm from The Extreme History Project headquarters located at 234 E. Mendenhall. Tickets are limited so purchase early! CLICK HERE TO SECURE A TICKET! For more information or questions, send us an email at info@extremehistoryproject.org!

Join us on Saturday, July 17 from noon to 5pm for the Grand Opening of The Extreme History Project Book Shop! Within the Extreme History headquarters, we have dedicated a room to used books that focus on history. We have a large selection of Montana and western history, along with some great historical fiction. Books range in price from $4 to $12. We are located at 234 E. Mendenhall. Stop by on Saturday, July 17th and find some summer history reading!

Walking Tours Start May 28!

Posted: May 17, 2021 by extremehistory in Uncategorized
Elizabeth Noonan giving our Gracious Gables historic walking tour

We are excited to kick off our 2021 historic walking tour season on Memorial Day weekend! Starting May 28th, we’ll be offering nine historic walking tours including our Murders, Madams, and Mediums: Bozeman’s Dark Side, our popular Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past cemetery tour, and our Business and Pleasure: Bozeman’s Historic Red Light District tour, just to name a few. Our tours are full of fascinating Bozeman and Montana history you won’t want to miss! To secure your spot on a tour, visit our Eventbrite page by clicking here and book a tour today!

Give Big for History!

Posted: May 6, 2021 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

It is that time of year again, time to Give Big! Please consider adding The Extreme History Project to your giving list this year.

We need history and a connection to our community’s past now more than ever. By understanding where we’ve been, we can better understand what’s happening today. Help us continue our mission to make history relevant. Contributions big and small are welcome and go a long way in helping us to provide you with quality historical programming, bringing history alive.

Together we can tell the story of our place, not only the traditional narrative but one that includes all the voices in the story. We ask for your support and we thank you for giving big to history. It’s easy, just follow this link. Thank you for your support of The Extreme History Project and Give Big.

Click here to view our 3-minute video about why we think history is important! 

The Dirt on the Past!

Posted: March 9, 2021 by extremehistory in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Have you had a chance to check out our new podcast, The Dirt on the Past? If not, be sure to have a listen and subscribe wherever you find your podcasts. If you would like to listen from our website, click here. We interview archaeologists, historians, and other heritage professionals about their research and why it matters today. Thanks and hope you can join us for more . . . Dirt on the Past!

Thank You!

Posted: December 18, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Extreme History Project,

Like everyone, The Extreme History Project has been faced with many challenges because of Covid-19. Unable to provide our usual full range of programming due to safety concerns, we made adjustments to our walking tours in keeping with mandated restrictions, continued to provide our lecture series via Zoom instead of in person, and introduced several new and informative events to support our educational mission.

This year the nation commemorated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women voting rights. To highlight this pivotal legislation, we displayed an exhibit detailing the suffrage movement, curated another exhibit providing a snapshot of historic reproductive and contraceptive practices during the 19th century west, and facilitated a committee called The 19th Amendment: Expanding the Arc of the Suffrage Story, a coordinated effort of individuals and organizations in the Gallatin Valley who worked to change the narrative of the women’s suffrage story including the histories of indigenous women and women of color. Many of our lecture series presentations this year also dealt with women’s issues and women’s place in the historical narrative.

To further our outreach and maintain a dialog with our community, Extreme History started a Book Club with book selections relevant to the Montana experience. Supplementing that effort, we launched The Dirt on the Past podcast in which experts in a variety of fields discuss their research.

2020 has proven to be especially memorable and we have been witness to many firsts. What we do now becomes the history of future generations and informs our actions affecting that future. The Extreme History Project’s goal is to seek out and examine that history — good, bad or ugly — and share that knowledge with you. Knowledge is power, as is truth.

We are gearing up for 2021 and have been brainstorming new, exciting projects. To that end, we do ask for your help in achieving our mission. Your donations enable us to keep our research ongoing and our programming pertinent. Every dollar provides the vital resources needed to continue our service. Sometimes it really does take a village!

Click Here to Support History in your Community!

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely and with gratitude,

Crystal and Team Extreme

PS. Because we are a non-profit, all donations are tax deductible.

Learn how to uncover the history of a house or historic building! Every building has a history and a story to tell. In this virtual workshop, you’ll learn how to uncover the history of a house or historic building, whether it is 50 years old or 150 years old. Experts will share their knowledge on research techniques and you’ll be instructed on how to read Sanborn maps, research city directories, uncover information in deed records, and much more! Join us for this virtual workshop from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, November 7th via zoom. The cost of this workshop is $45 which includes a packet of resources and information which you will receive via email. Hope you can join us for this interactive and engaging workshop! To purchase a ticket, click here. For questions please contact us at info@extremehistoryproject.org.

518 W. Lamme, Bozeman, Montana

Cemeteries as Outdoor Museums

Posted: October 3, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized
Entrance Gate at Sunset Hills Cemetery – Photo courtesy The Gallatin History Museum
Sunset Hills Cemetery by Crystal Alegria

Cemeteries are places of solace and beauty, they are places you go to contemplate, grieve, and appreciate. As a historian, I go to these places for all those reasons but also to learn about the people who came before, those who built the community I now live in and call home. The values of a community can be seen in the cemetery, on the headstones and in the monuments, in the layout, and engraved on the stones. You can see and understand what people held sacred through epitaphs and inscriptions. Cemeteries are like outdoor museums. The headstones hold secrets contained in the symbolism etched on their stone surfaces. If we take the time to look and learn, we come away from our local cemeteries with knowledge about the people themselves, but also the community values they shared. (photo of gate)

Our local cemetery, Sunset Hills, is located on a hill over-looking the town of Bozeman, Montana. Today it is a beautiful park-like cemetery with a multitude of trees, lilacs blooming in the spring, formal boulevards, and manicured lawns. It started off as a convenient spot, atop a hill to bury Bozeman’s dead with little thought to the beauty and tranquility of the location.

There are early newspaper accounts that mention the cemetery as a stark and barren hill, with cattle grazing amongst the tombstones, rubbing up against them and knocking them over. An article from the Avant Courier newspaper in 1879 decried the need for a fence saying, “. . . the final resting place of the dead remains . . .  unprotected from the bands of horses and cattle running at large on the adjoining foot hills.”[1] It goes on to say, “We are aware that several family lots are properly enclosed by neat picket fences but the condition of the remainder, which is by far the greater portion of the grounds, is little more than a standing disgrace to the people of Bozeman.”[2] As mentioned, some early graves had white picket fences to prevent destruction from wildlife and cows. A photo published in The Anaconda Standard from 1901 shows these picket fences surrounding graves. It also shows the grass as un-mowed and tall. It has a wild beauty to it but from our 21st century eyes it is shocking to see a cemetery so unmanicured.

The Anaconda Standard Newspaper shows the grave of Mary Blackmore, along with other graves surrounded by picket fences.

In the early years there was no irrigation in the cemetery. People would bring water up the hill in buckets and pales to water the few plants and flowers that marked their ancestor’s graves. There is an account in 1891 from The Bozeman Daily Chronicle that comments on the view “Seen From the Hill.” The article describes the sleepy town of Bozeman on a May day in 1891, “Farmers dotting the landscape for miles. They seem to be very busy putting in crops. . . Several Bozemanites arrayed in summer suits and straw hats. The dust flying over the city and an old sprinkler going to decay. The schoolboy playing “hookey” and trapping gophers on the Ellis reservation. People carrying water to the cemetery in buckets, tin cans, etc.”[3]

Cemeteries are also a place to self-reflect, to think about your own life and those who came before.  If you would like an introduction to Bozeman’s historic section of Sunset Hills Cemetery, please join us for a walking tour this month. We are offering tours on October 4 and October 11 at 4pm. Due to small tour size we suggest you register by clicking here!

One of our favorite cemetery books at Extreme History is Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. Here is a small piece from this classic.

Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley,

The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter?

All, all are sleeping on the hill.

One passed in a fever,

One was burned in a mine,

One was killed in a brawl,

One died in a jail,

One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife —

All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

Where are Ella, Kate, Mag, Lizzie and Edith,

The tender heart, the simple soul, the loud, the proud, the happy one? —

All, all are sleeping on the hill.

One died in shameful child-birth,

One of a thwarted love,

One at the hands of a brute in a brothel,

One of a broken pride, in the search for heart’s desire,

One after life in far-away London and Paris

Was brought to her little space by Ella and Kate and Mag —

All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

Where are Uncle Isaac and Aunt Emily,

And old Towny Kincaid and Sevigne Houghton,

And Major Walker who had talked

With venerable men of the revolution? —

All, all are sleeping on the hill.

They brought them dead sons from the war,

And daughters whom life had crushed,

And their children fatherless, crying —

All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

Where is Old Fiddler Jones

Who played with life all his ninety years,

Braving the sleet with bared breast,

Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,

Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?

Lo! he babbles of the fish-frys of long ago,

Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary’s Grove,

Of what Abe Lincoln said

One time at Springfield.


[1] The Bozeman Avant Courier, Thursday, May 29, 1879.

[2] The Bozeman Avant Courier, Thursday, May 29, 1879.

[3] The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, May 1891.

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The Dirt on the Past: A Podcast of The Extreme History Project

Posted: September 25, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

We have BIG NEWS! We are so excited to debut our new PODCAST, The Dirt on the Past; A Podcast of The Extreme History Project! We’ve been thinking about this podcast for a LONG time and decided to make it happen! The podcast is hosted by Crystal Alegria, the Director of The Extreme History Project and Nancy Mahoney, a downtown Bozeman business owner and member of The Extreme History Project’s Board of Directors. Crystal and Nancy will converse with professionals in the fields of history, archaeology, and anthropology to bring you cutting-edge research and why it matters today. Extreme History is partnering with Gallatin Valley Community Radio (KGVM 95.5). A big thanks to Steve Durbin of KGVM for recording and editing. You can find The Dirt on the Past on Apple Podcasts (aka itunes, please subscribe!) or you can listen directly from either the Extreme History Project website, CLICK HERE or catch it on KGVM 95.5. Thanks, and keep listening for more . . . dirt on the past!

We are excited to announce that The Extreme History Project has a new pop-up exhibit, “From Boudoir to the Brothel: Reproductive Health in 1900’s Montana” now on display! This exhibit showcases the history of women’s reproductive healthcare in Montana through the lens of two women who lived in Bozeman, MT during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Rachel Lindley and Libbie Hayes. Lindley was a member of Bozeman’s social elite and Hayes managed a house of prostitution. Jennifer Hill PhD, the Director of the Women’s Reproductive History Alliance curated the exhibit and is an expert in the field of women’s reproductive history and a pioneer in the field of digital humanities. To view the exhibit visit The Extreme History Project at 234 E. Mendenhall Street in Bozeman, MT or visit the virtual exhibit by clicking below.  Extreme History is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 3pm. This exhibit will be on display for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. 

Boudoir to Brothel front page

 

CLICK HERE FOR VIRTUAL EXHIBIT
CLICK HERE FOR PODCAST EPISODE

 

 

A BIG THANK YOU to the sponsors who made this exhibit possible including:

Susan Sewell

Bridgercare

Students for Choice at MSU

Montana NOW

Patrick and Kris Holland

Women’s Reproductive History Alliance

 

 

19th Amendment Commemoration!

Posted: July 23, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

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On August 26, 2020 we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.

In Montana, men voted in favor of equal suffrage on November 3, 1914. But nationally, many women had to wait until the passing of the 19th Amendment to have the vote. For more on the Montana suffrage story, click here.

At The Extreme History Project, we have partnered with many other local organizations to commemorate this important anniversary. The group, which is called, “The 19th Amendment: Expanding the Arc of the Suffrage Story” is a coordinated effort of individuals and organizations in the Gallatin Valley, Montana who are working to change the narrative of women’s suffrage.  We recognize that the fight for women’s voting rights, culminating with the 19th Amendment, was a key achievement for white women’s rights, but we also recognize that many indigenous women and women of color were excluded from both the process and the outcomes of the fights for suffrage.  We are committed to using this anniversary as an opportunity to include these voices and their stories of suffrage, or lack thereof, and to highlight the continued threats to women’s rights today. To follow this groups events, please like the Facebook page by clicking here

In commemoration of the 19th Amendment anniversary we are raffling off a “Suffragist Quilt” made by Extreme History volunteer, Susan Sewell. The quilt will be raffled on August 26, 2020.  The colors and design of the quilt are based on the sashes worn by suffragists over their white dresses during parades, meetings, and protests. “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolizes the quality of our purpose; and gold, the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.” The quilt is approximately 60 x 72 inches, the material is 100% cotton batiks. It is Machine washable & dryable (warm/cool water, delicate cycle suggested). It will “pucker” when washed and dried – that is an attribute of quilts, not a defect. The quilt pattern is called Rail Fence or Split Rail Fence.  A very traditional quilt pattern. This is a unique Montana-made piece that commemorates a significant historical event. Its beauty will bring you joy and  warmth on cold winter nights as you remember the women who worked hard to achieve the national vote for women. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 tickets for $20. You can purchase raffle tickets at Extreme History headquarters (234 E. Mendenhall in Bozeman which is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 3pm) or you can put a check in the mail to us at P.O. Box 5019, Bozeman, MT 59717. Or you can venmo us at @ExtremeHistoryProject. Proceeds from the raffle tickets will go to educational events on women’s history.

Watch The Extreme History Project Facebook page for more upcoming events and opportunities to commemorate this important anniversary year!

For a recap of this important fight for suffrage watch The Vote on PBS. Here is a link to Part 1 and Part 2.

Juneteenth!

Posted: June 19, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

We are offering a free walking tour of Bozeman’s historic black neighborhood in honor of Juneteenth on June 19! Due to the popularity (it is currently full) of this tour we will offer more throughout the summer so watch this space for additional dates/times or follow us on Facebook or join our mailing list for updates.

Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day or Liberation Day. It is a holiday celebrated annually on the 19th of June throughout the U.S. to commemorate the end of slavery. On June 19, 1865 general George Granger publicly announced federal orders in Galveston, Texas proclaiming that all people enslaved in Texas were free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed enslaved people almost two and a half years earlier on January 1, 1863, and the Civil War had ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April of 1856 it took until June 19th, 1865 for the proclamation to reach and be read in Texas. This holiday is now widely celebrated throughout the United States. 

Bozeman’s historic African American community is nearly invisible until you begin to examine the historic census records, newspaper accounts, and city directories. Only then do Bozeman’s Black citizens come into focus. One name leads to another and soon a tight knit and thriving African American community emerges during the late 19th century. Working as machinists, laborers, laundresses, housekeepers, and porters, Bozeman’s African American people contributed to the building of our city through their labor, religious activity, child rearing, social clubs and community participation. Our walking tour, “Family Matters: Bozeman’s Historic African American Community” explores the lives of these founding families and uncovers a history that has been silent for over a hundred years.

For more information on our walking tour program, click here.

 

Historic Walking Tours!

Posted: June 2, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

We didn’t know if walking tours were going to happen this year, but we’re taking it slow and moving forward with tours! We will limit the group size to 10 people, including the guide. Click here for the schedule of tours. Watch this space for updates on walking tour dates/times for the rest of the summer. We look forward to seeing you on a walking tour!

Check out the short video below to give you a preview of our historic walking tours!

Montana history is full of fascinating people, including Elizabeth Mundy. Elizabeth grew up enslaved on a southern plantation. She fled the plantation in 1863 and was hired by Libbie Custer, the wife of General George Armstrong Custer, as a cook. She worked for the Custer family until 1875 when she left their service to live in Bozeman and Helena. While in Bozeman she worked as a cook for one of our infamous red-light Madams, Lizzie Woods. Her descendants still live in Montana and her recipes have been passed down. Here is her recipe for vegetable soup, give it a try and let us know what you think!

“1 quart of stock, 1 quart of boiling water, 1 cup each of chopped onion, carrots and celery, ½ cup each of chopped turnip, parsnip and cabbage, 1 cup strained tomatoes, 1 tablespoonful chopped parsley, 1 teaspoonful sugar, 1 teaspoonful salt and 1 teaspoonful of pepper. Use all or as many varieties of vegetables as you wish, or if you have only a few, add macaroni, rice or barley. Fry the onions and carrots. Then add all the ingredients, except seasoning. Serve without straining. Always add sugar to all mixed vegetable soups.”

The_Billings_Gazette_Sun__Jun_26__1960_Elizabeth Mundy

Give Big to History!

Posted: April 22, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

On April 30th and May 1st, The Extreme History Project will participate in Give Big Gallatin Valley. Now, more than ever, the Gallatin County nonprofit community needs your support.

Give Big Gallatin Valley is an online county-wide effort to raise awareness and important operating funds for local nonprofits and to celebrate the generosity and vibrancy of our community.

We’ve seen our community come together in extraordinary ways over the past two months, let’s keep the momentum going and continue to support each other in this time of crisis.

We need history and a connection to our community’s past now more than ever. Understanding where we’ve been, helps us better understand how to move forward without repeating past mistakes. Please help us continue our mission to make history relevant and bring that history to you.

We’re a grassroots, non-profit history organization, and, like you, we’re struggling to navigate through today’s challenging times. In these extraordinary circumstances, your donation, big or small, can make an even greater impact. Your support allows us to continue providing in-depth programming and exciting events that bring the history of our community alive.

We ask you to Give Big to History from 6pm on April 30th to 6pm on May 1st! Follow this link for more information and to Give Big!

Thank you for your continued support of The Extreme History Project, and thank you for Giving Big to Gallatin Valley.

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April is Archaeology Month in Montana!

Posted: April 2, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Welcome to Montana Archaeology Month! At Extreme History we celebrate Montana’s rich archaeological past all year, but in April we join the Montana Archaeological Society (MAS) is raising awareness about Montana archaeology. We usually look forward to attending the annual meeting of The Montana Archaeological Society to catch up with friends and colleagues. Of course, this year it’s been cancelled. We will miss our annual gathering, but know it’s better to stay home and stay safe. There are still ways to learn about Montana’s archaeological past, you can visit the Montana Archaeological Society’s website, http://mtarchaeologicalsociety.org/, or like their Facebook page by clicking here. This year we are celebrating indigenous archaeology, commemorated by the 2020 MAS poster seen below designed by Tim Ryan.

MAS Poster_2020 (1)

Women’s History Month!

Posted: March 10, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Here at the Extreme History Project we celebrate women’s history all year, but we’ve been working with local Bozeman, MT resident, Jane Klockman, to document her families history and wanted to share that with you during Women’s History Month. Our colleague, Amy Talcott wrote a wonderful article on Jane’s great aunt, Florence Ballinger Hamilton that we are excited to share with you.

Florence Ballinger Hamilton – By Amy Katherine Talcott

The author would like to extend her sincere gratitude to Jane Davidson Klockman, granddaughter of Lulu Ballinger Davidson and grandniece of Florence Ballinger Hamilton, whose reminiscences and extensive collection of correspondence and photographs made this biography possible. Click here to read the article. 

Every building has a history and a story to tell. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to uncover the history of a house or a historic building, whether it is 50 years old or 150 years old. Experts will share their knowledge on research techniques and you’ll learn how to read maps, research historic photographs, city directories, deed records, and many other tools. We will visit the Gallatin History Museum, tour the Gallatin County Clerk and Recorders Office, and take a short walking tour of a historic neighborhood to better understand the architectural styles and character of historic Bozeman.

When: November 16, 2019 8:30am to 4:30pm
Where: 234 E. Mendenhall Street, Bozeman, MT 59715
Registration: $50 for non-members, $45 for members. Registration fee includes all materials and snacks. Lunch will be on your own.
Space is limited so click here to register early!

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History After Dark: Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past!

Posted: October 8, 2019 by extremehistory in Uncategorized
Buy tickets here!
Ready to encounter the ghosts of Halloween past?

For one night only, The Extreme History Project is bringing such notables as John Bozeman, Joseph Lindley, Lizzie Woods, and Achilles Lamme back from the grave to tell their stories. Hear about their exploits and learn about life in this area as Bozeman struggled to become a town.

Your self-guided journey will take you down Main and Mendenhall streets to meet “soiled doves,” salacious madams, mystic mediums, and other bold inhabitants of this western town. Tales of ghosts, murder and mayhem, frontier justice, brothels, and more will be told by our resurrected dead. This year’s tour will introduce new and intriguing cast members to delight you with their sagas.

This tour is offered Friday, October 18th, at 7:00, 7:10, 7:20 and 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20.

TO PURCHASE TICKETS CLICK HERE
The event is not appropriate for children under the age of 12.
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Saloon Shootings and “Rotgut”?!

Every Wednesday night at 6:00, The Extreme History Project takes visitors on a tour of Bozeman’s historic breweries and saloons.  Bozeman’s first saloons opened within the initial years of Bozeman’s founding in 1864.  These were not the rough and tumble saloons of the western mining camps though, where down-and-out miners drank their sorrows away on a less-than-delectable type of whiskey known as “rotgut.”  No, here in Bozeman we had establishments like the Palace Saloon. With its “handsome bar [and] beautifully papered and pictured walls,” the Palace was known to be the finest drinking establishment west of Chicago.  Bozeman’s saloons were not immune to violence. One night in 1885, Bozeman residents heard three shots fired in rapid succession and when they arrived at the Palace, Neil Lane lay dead on the saloon floor, shot by his business partner following an argument about a prostitute named “Beavertooth.”  Hear this story and others as your guide takes you through a tour of Bozeman’s historic saloons. Along the way, you’ll learn about the buildings that once housed these infamous saloons and come to understand how drinking culture in the United States has changed over time.  Our next Spirits, Suds, and Saloons tour leaves from The Extreme History Project Headquarters at 234 E. Mendenhall on Wednesday, August 14 at 6 pm!
To sign up for a tour, click here!

By Cheryl Hendry, tour guide of the Spirits, Suds, and Saloons tour

speith and krug

The Spieth and Krug Brewery on Bozeman’s Main Street

Walking Tour Spotlight – Gracious Gables!

Posted: June 26, 2019 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Travel back in time on Willson Avenue!

The Extreme History Project’s Gracious Gables walking tour, which explores Bozeman’s Bon Ton Historic District, offers more than a lesson in architecture. Much more. Spend an hour on a Sunday afternoon and come away with a deeper appreciation of the events and people who first saw opportunity in the beautiful Gallatin valley.

The Bon Ton District was Bozeman’s most fashionable neighborhood between 1880 and 1930. Men who came west for gold or to make a new life after the Civil War made fortunes in real estate, banking, beef, retail and politics. When W.W. Alderson platted his homestead south of Main Street, he planned for Central Avenue (now Willson) to be a grand boulevard, with beautiful houses on either side. That’s why the neighborhood is known as the Bon Ton District, which in the 19th Century meant “the finest.” Over the years doctors, bankers, politicians, college presidents and several sons of the city’s original founders lived here.

319 S Willson Voss BandB

The Chisholm Family on Porch of Residence in Bozeman, Montana. Left to right, back row: Oliver Perry Chisholm (1843-1912), Sarah Alice Chisholm, Sarah Jane Bishop Chisholm (1846-1905); front row, left to right: Charles B. Chisholm (1874-1945), Oliver Perry Chisholm, II (1883-1967). House is located at 319 S. Willson. Photograph Courtesy of the Museum of the Rockies

Their homes reflected their wealth and status. Although the district is predominately Queen Anne or Colonial Revival, home owners often combined styles to make their homes unique. From the highly ornamented, pink Queen Anne home built by Bozeman’s first sheriff to the simplicity of the townhouse designed by local architect Fred Willson for the founder of the Flying D Ranch, no two houses are similar.

The stories of the residents are as impressive as the homes. These people were doers who founded businesses and touched lives in ways that are still relevant today. Kindness? Think about Julia Martin who served Thanksgiving dinner to the “loose women” at Montana College for over 37 years. Politics? Consider the political career of Nelson Story Junior, son of Bozeman’s first millionaire or Belle McDonald, daughter of former slaves, who lobbied the state legislature while working as a live-in domestic.

Julia Martin House

Julia Martin House. Photograph Courtesy of the Museum of the Rockies

These are just a few remarkable stories housed in the Bon Ton District. Theirs were lives of visible success and painful loss. Take a tour to learn more about those who had significant influence on Bozeman and Montana in its early years.

For tour dates and times and to register click here!

Historic Walking Tours!

Posted: May 21, 2019 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Are you ready to get outside and take a historic walking tour! We’re excited to kick off the 2019 walking tour season this Memorial Day weekend. Click here for our full schedule of tour dates and times and to sign up for a tour!  We look forward to seeing you on a walking tour!

Check out the short video below to give you a preview of our historic walking tours!

Extreme History is excited to partner with the Bozeman Public Library for their One Book One Bozeman program to offer a NEW walking tour that features Bozeman’s historic red-light district! Click here to secure a free ticket, only 15 spots per tour available!

One Book One Bozeman, is a community reading program and this year the book chosen is Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford.  Ford takes readers back to Seattle’s red-light district to meet three young inhabitants of a high-class brothel. The three characters include Ernest the houseboy, Maisie the madam’s precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. These three characters wind their way through life in the district. For additional One Book One Bozeman Events, click here.

We are excited to showcase Bozeman’s own historic red-light district and speak to the similarities and differences with Seattle’s district. Join us for this one-hour walking tour that will take you back in time to the Bozeman of 1910. We’ll see where the ladies lived and worked, recounting the lives of the many women who made this district their home. You’ll hear stories of success, failure, independence, and tragedy. These women were not only residents of the tenderloin but they contributed financially to our community. The “restricted” district thrived from the 1870s until the early 20th century when the occupants of the red-light district were forced out and the houses were closed up for good.

We will offer two tours, one on February 16 at 1pm and the second on February February 24 at 1pm. Meet your tour guide in Soroptomist Park located on the corner of Rouse and Main streets. Tour is free and open to the public but you will need to register by clicking here to secure a ticket. There are only 15 spots per tour available so secure your ticket now!

Kicking off the 2019 Lecture Series!

Posted: January 8, 2019 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Join us January 10, 6pm  at the Museum of the Rockies for our first Extreme History Lecture Series presentation of 2019. Free and open to the public. Arrive early to secure a seat! For the full schedule of presentations, click here.

Before Yellowstone: 11,000 Years of Native Americans in Yellowstone National Park

Doug MacDonald, a professor of Anthropology at the University of Montana, will discuss what archaeological research into nearly 2,000 sites has revealed about the long history of human presence in what is now Yellowstone National Park. MacDonald will explain the significance of important areas such as Obsidian Cliff, where hunters obtained volcanic rock to make tools and for trade, and Yellowstone Lake, a traditional place for gathering edible plants. From Clovis points associated with mammoth hunting to stone circles marking the sites of tipi lodges, “Before Yellowstone” will bring to life a fascinating story of human occupation and use of this stunning landscape.

Thank you to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition for sponsoring this lecture! Please visit Greater Yellowstone Coalition to learn about the important work that GYC does to protect the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

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Superfunded: Recreating Nature in a Postindustrial West

Posted: November 14, 2018 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Join us November 15, 6pm at the Museum of the Rockies for our last Extreme History Lecture Series presentation of 2018. Free and open to the public!

Superfunded: Recreating Nature in a Postindustrial West by Jennifer Dunn

The EPA Superfund program was established in 1980 and over 1,700 locations have been placed on the National Priorities List (NPL).  Superfund sites cover a vast array of environmental damages that contaminate the land and impact the health of citizens across the nation.  Superfund’s goal is to clean up some of the nation’s most contaminated waste sites.  Former mining communities in the Intermountain West were built on a premise of wealth and power fortified by resource extraction.  Mining and smelting generated incredible wealth as well as incredible waste.  The Superfund solution to this waste reveal how governments, communities, and individual perceive and respond to the material consequences of our capitalist and industrial decisions.

History After Dark: Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past

Posted: September 24, 2018 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Get Tickets Here

The Extreme History Project’s “History After Dark: Ghosts of Bozeman’s Past” self-guided walking tour brings Bozeman’s notorious past to life! On October 5 and 6, some of Bozeman’s most notorious citizens will return from the grave to share their stories with the public. The Extreme History Project’s “History After Dark” tour will bring Bozeman’s present face to face with Bozeman’s past. Tour participants will walk the dark streets of downtown Bozeman while hearing tales of horrific murders, gruesome hangings, and salacious madams from the mouths of the dead themselves who will appear at their various locations along the route. Meet Bozeman’s most scandalous Madam, Lizzie Woods and talk with our town founder, John Bozeman. The tour costs $18 per person online ($20 at the door) and is not appropriate for children under 12. Tickets are limited so purchase early! Click here to purchase tickets. The tours will kick off at 7pm and 7:30pm from Townsend’s Tea House at 402 E. Main St. For more information send us an email at info@extremehistoryproject.org or give us a call at 406-220-2678.

history after dark photo SarahGet Tickets Here

Historic Walking Tours!

Posted: May 21, 2018 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Are you ready to get outside and take a historic walking tour! We’re excited to kick off the 2018 walking tour season on Memorial Day weekend. Click here for our full schedule of tour dates and times and we look forward to seeing you on a walking tour!

Check out the short video below to give you a preview of our historic walking tours!

Making History Relevant Workshop Series

Posted: April 19, 2018 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

We are excited to announce our workshop series Making History Relevant. Extreme History is hosting three one-day workshops in 2018 that will give you the tools and experience to dive into your own history and uncover information about a historic house or building, your personal family tree, or guide you to research a specific subject. See workshop details below and we hope you are able to attend one, two, or all three of our workshops!

If These Walls Could Talk: Researching a Historic Building
Every building has a history and a story to tell. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to uncover the history of a house or a historic building. Experts will share their research techniques and we’ll introduce you to maps, historic photographs, city directories, and many other tools at the Gallatin History Museum that will help you in your research to uncover the history of a house or building. You’ll have the opportunity to receive hands-on direction in exploring the Gallatin History Museum archives. We will take a short walking tour of a historic neighborhood to better understand the architectural styles and character of historic Bozeman.
When: May 19, 2018 9am to 5pm
Where: Gallatin County Court House and Gallatin History Museum, Bozeman, MT
Registration: $45 for non-members, $41 for members or register for all three workshops for $120. Registration fee includes all materials, lunch and snacks. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE.
For more information or to register offline contact Crystal Alegria at crystal@extremehistoryproject.org or give us a call at 406-220-2678

Genealogy 101: Digging into Ancestral Research
Every family has a history. But beyond family stories, how can you discover more about yours? We’ll examine records that can help — how to find them and how to wring the last drop of information out of them. We’ll look at internet sources, free and subscription, to discover which can help us learn more. We’ll discuss the value of putting our ancestors in their historical and social context and how their friends, neighbors and associates can help us find our way around brick walls, and we’ll discuss the newest tool for connecting with cousins and learning more about our families: DNA.
When: August 25, 2018 9am to 5pm
Where: Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, MT
Registration: $45 for non-members, $41 for members or $120 for all three workshops.
Registration fee includes all materials, lunch and snacks. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE. 
For more information or to register offline contact Crystal Alegria at crystal@extremehistoryproject.org or give us a call at 406-220-2678

Cooking in the Archives: How to Research a Specific Topic
Join historians and archivists as we lead you through the process of researching a historic topic in an archival and online setting. In this workshop we will give you hands-on experience researching in a variety of formats including historical online newspapers and in a Works Progress Administration (WPA) collection held in MSU’s Special Collections. You will be given tools, tips, and materials to guide you on your own research journey as we use exploring Montana’s food history to whet your appetite for historical research.
When: September 22, 2018. 10am to 5pm
Where: Montana State University Library
Registration: $45 for non-members, $41 for members or register for all three workshops for $120. Registration fee includes all materials, lunch, and snacks. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE.
For more information or to register offline contact Crystal Alegria at crystal@extremehistoryproject.org or give us a call at 406-220-2678

A big THANK YOU to our sponsors and partners on the Making History Relevant Workshop Series:
Humanities Montana
Gallatin History Museum
Montana State University Library
Montana State University Special Collections and Archives
MSU’s Center for Western Lands and Peoples
Museum of the Rockies
Gallatin County Genealogical Society
Generous support from a local anonymous donor

 

 

2017 Year in Review

Posted: March 28, 2018 by rebekahschields in Uncategorized

We’re excited to share our first ever Year in Review with you! 2017 was the five year anniversary of The Extreme History Project and we accomplished so much. Thank you to all of our supporters, we couldn’t do what we do with out you!

Click the link below the picture to download the entire document.

Year in Review 2017

Year in Review 2017

July 21 – 6pm – Jon Axline – Montana Highway Tales. In-person event at The Museum of the Rockies. 

Join us for our next Extreme History Project Lecture Series offering with historian Jon Axline. This will be an in-person event in the Museum of the Rockies Hager Auditorium. Jon’s book, “Montana Highway Tales” will be for sale after the presentation. This event is free and open to the public, hope you can join us!

There is plenty of Montana’s exciting history visible from its storied highways. Over the past forty years, the Montana Department of Transportation has recorded and photographed hundreds of archaeological sites and historic properties. Many are rather mundane, but many more have fascinating stories to tell about the state’s colorful past. Montana Highway Tales tells the stories of just a few of those places. Some, like the stone chimney south of Havre and the concrete structure built into the hillside between Logan and Three Forks, have been the subject of speculation by motorists for decades. Jon Axline’s presentation will delve into the histories of the Bozeman Trail, the famed Smith Mine near Bearcreek, Montana’s cold war radar stations, historically significant roads and bridges in the state, and giant grasshoppers among other subjects. Montana history is much more than vigilantes, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and copper kings. This presentation will, hopefully, widen our appreciation for the state’s varied and lively history.

Jon Axline is the long-time historian and interpretive marker coordinator at the Montana Department of Transportation. Long ago, he graduated from Montana State University with an MA in American history. Since then, Jon has since published a number of articles and books on a variety of Montana history subjects ranging from raptor dinosaurs to the cold war sky watchers. He lives in Helena with his wife, Lisa, three Corgis and a very spoiled dachshund.