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Exploring Great Falls: The History Museum

Posted at 7:51 AM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-02 10:38:05-05

GREAT FALLS — Whether you have lived in Great Falls all your life or are new to the area, it is easy to forget just how much the Electric City has to offer. As we head into the new year, I wanted to shed some light on a few of these gems located right here in our own backyard. To start off this series I felt it fitting to learn more about the history of Great Falls and Cascade County.

The History Museum is located in the heart of downtown Great Falls in what used to be an implement dealership. The 47,625 square foot, three-story structure was built in 1929 by the International Harvester Company. This likely would have been a busy spot for area farmers looking to upgrade their implement. It’s no surprise that 2nd Street South, where the former dealership and current museum is located, has often been referred to as Machinery Row.

Upon entering the museum, you’ll notice that it’s almost as if the town’s history comes alive. The numerous exhibits will give you a clear view of what life would have been like throughout the city’s history. As you stroll through the museum you will have the opportunity to relive history.

Among the current exhibits:

  • Downtown Great Falls: From clothing stores to opera houses, telephones to the Park Hotel, relive the bustling hub of Downtown Great Falls, Montana in this exhibition down memory lane.
  • Aged to Imperfection - A Montana Take on Wabi-Sabi: Art meets history in this exhibition featuring items from The History Museum’s permanent collection that fit into this ancient Japanese aesthetic.
  • The Ozark Club: “For nearly three decades, the Ozark Club helped to break down racial barriers and provided an exhilarating form of music that could lift the human spirit and put a joyful smile on the listener’s face.” - Ken Robison

The History Museum also features a large gift shop, featuring crafts, jewelry, books, and more.

Thanks to a donor, The History Museum is free to the public and offers the perfect atmosphere to practice social distancing. If you’re in need of an outing or are looking for a safe place to explore, The History Museum is a great option.

The museum's current (reduced due to COVID) operating hours are : Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from noon until 5 p.m., and the second Saturday of each month from noon until 5 p.m.
It is located at 422 2nd Street South; the phone number is 406-452-3462. Click here to visit the website.