MISSION

Our Museum has been open since 2004. Open all year.

The purpose of the County Museum shall be to preserve and promote culturally and historically significant sites and heritage throughout the county to cooperate and assist in establishing and maintaining any museums in Jefferson County.

The Jefferson County museum and its Preservation Board also shall:

  1. Manage heritage properties, historical sites and antiquities owned by Jefferson County
  2. Identify privately owned heritage properties and paleontological remains and register those in need of protection
  3. Preserve and protect any property or object donated or loaned to Jefferson County that has intrinsic historic, artistic, scientific or cultural value
  4. Encourage the restoration, preservation, and maintenance of historic sites and buildings and heritage properties in Jefferson County

BOARD MEMBERS

  • Paul Backlund; Chair
  • Sherry Carlson
  • Victoria Cech
  • Jamie Guenther
  • 1 unfilled seat
  • MUSEUM DIRECTOR
  • Bruce Bell
  • bbell.819@gmail.com
  • MUSEUM REGISTRAR
  • Melody Pesta
  • Haley Pesta

CURRENT DISPLAYS

Currently we have displays on Railroads of Jefferson County, Elkhorn Water Tank, and Cowboys and Rodeos of the West and of Jefferson County.

The Railroad Exhibit includes artifacts, photos and documents related to the multiple railroads once in the county. There is a model of the Amazon Tunnel, a tunnel in Jefferson County over a mile long that can still be accessed and driven through. Stories shared are of train crashes, mail by train, and a president's visit by train are included in the exhibit.

museum display wall

The Elkhorn Water Tank Exhibit includes a 1/8th scale model of the railroad water rank, artifacts from the tank and a photo story if both the deconstructiondand re-construction processes. Of special interest is a memory story of riding trains from Elkhorn to Butte. Artifacts include a piece of stave, a curved piece of trimn and the lever used to open the water valve.

model of elkhorn water tower

The Cowboy and Rodeo Exhibit includes artifacts from Jefferson County ranches, specifically from the Dahl Ranch (Warm Springs Creek), Carlson Ranch (Basin/Bernice), Marks Ranch (Lump Gulch) and others. On display are wooly chaps from Mike Quinn, Boulder valley rancher and rodeo stock provider; items such as horse hair halters (handmade) and artwork on cowboy hats; and a model of the Marks family barn. Also included for a time is a traveling exhibit of prints from Lee Silliman of Missoula depicting the Cowboys of the free range era. As this part of the exhibit is phased out, we will add more Jefferson County ranches and artifacts. We are always looking to include more Jefferson County ranchers in our display.

The Judges Exhibit is a compilation of the district judges that Jefferson County has had over the years. It entails pictures of each of the judges and their biographies as well. Behind the desk in that room is a chair that originally came from the courthouse in Boulder, probably from the court room. It was discarded in ill repair, slavaged by Fred W Bell (courthouse janitor) and refparied and refinished by Bruce Bell.

Thanks to the Boulder Heritage Center for thier chaps, horsehair halter and multiple photos and artifacts. Thanks to the Montana Historical Society photo archives for their photos and information. Thanks to the Marks, Dahl, and Carlson ranches for MANY photos and artifacts. Thanks to the Bell family for the Elkhorn RR Water tank model and information. Thanks to Lee Silliman for another great traveling exhibit.

LAST DISPLAY

We displayed each of the Cemeteries of Jefferson County.For each cemetery there were pictures, maps, and burial records. We thank the Boulder Heritage Center for their help with this.

NEXT DISPLAY

Our next display will be Expanded Cowboys and Rodeos with an emphasis on Jefferson County history and its Families.

CURRENT MAJOR PROJECT

We are doing a complete inventory of documents, artifacts, maps, and pictures and we are entering them into PastPerfect to finally record what we have at the museum. We are currently 90% finished with this.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Speaker Series and Christmas Reception: look for further information on both of these

POSSIBLE RESEARCH

We have a patron research area at the museum for use by all. This includes Ancestry.com to research family histories and Newspapers.com for research into all newspapers on it's site. On our patron computer there is a group of land abstracts for properties in the Clancy area that can be accessed from the generosity of Bob Marks. The computer also has some videos of previous speakers at the museum.

Contact Us

Contact Information
Phone: (406) 224-5106
E-mail: jcmuseum.mt@gmail.com

Hours

Friday 1P.M. to 5 P.M.
Saturday 10:30 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Address

Jefferson County Museum
5 North Main Street
P.O. Box 46
Clancy, Mt 59634

Downloadable Map to Jefferson County Museum