Western Heritage Museum Makes for Mad Day of Great Fun

We’ve made no qualms about the great times we’ve had in Billings, Montana, and no review series would be complete without a write-up of one of the best places in the area, the Western Heritage Museum. Sure, it’s historic, and sure, it’s fun and interesting, but more than any of that, did you know it’s also Smithsonian accredited? Well it’s that, and affordable too!

My own western heritage, apparently, is that I was a train engineer in a past life.
My own western heritage, apparently, is that I was a train engineer in a past life.

The Western Heritage Center is a regional museum that interprets and reflects the life and culture of the Yellowstone River Valley. It’s located conveniently in downtown Billings in a cool old mansion, which was later made into the Parmly Billings Library before becoming the museum it is today.

The building is obviously listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and you might be able to guess that just by looking at it, but it’s been brought up to all kinds of modern safety codes, so it’s exciting, though not the dangerous kind of exciting.

They have a collection (partly onsite and on-display, but much of it is safely in storage) of more than 16,000 artifacts, and you know it’s “all that” because scholars and students of history from all over the United States (and the world, let’s be honest) have done research from their archives and collection.

And apparently about 53% of the estimated 22,000 annual visitors are from within the state of Montana, my point being that in addition to being a cool touristy thing, it really is mcuh more than “just another tourist attraction.”

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Sundays and Mondays and legal holidays, and you can get in for just $3 if you’re an adult. Students are just $2 and kids under 12 are free… that means our party of five cost $6 to get in, and we had fun, fun, fun.

See it’s not just stuffy history stuff. As you can see from our pictures, there’s kind of a million things to do there, and each is as good as the one before it. You can dress up like old west city folk, play with a wooden train set designed to honor the railway heritage of the area, or just check out all the cool stuff.

And if you really want something different, consider this: Right out front, literally beside the steps of the center, there is a log cabin… not just any log cabin, mind you, it’s the actual studio of famous Montana artist and icon J.K. Ralston, who did all his works from retirement until he passed right there… well not right there in front of the center, it was moved there much later, but they have live interpretation from an expert in there throughout much of the season, and your museum admission gets you in.

For more information or special needs, check them out online at www.YWHC.org or call them at (406) 256-6809.

ABOVE: From outside you can already tell how awesome the place is going to be once you enter... and it is, I assure you.
ABOVE: From outside you can already tell how awesome the place is going to be once you enter… and it is, I assure you.

 

Perplexing Times Honored By Another Awesome Syndicate

We’ve run articles all over the world, as any of our most faithful readers has known as years have gone by and stories have unfolded, but it still comes to us as a great contribution when we pick up new syndicates, especially ones of notable merit. Such is the case with our latest syndication to MontanaWithKids.com.

See the fine design and just how right out plain nice it is?
See the fine design and just how right out plain nice it is?

About once a year we bend over backwards as we step over forwards to take trips to exotic, faraway lands the likes of which many people haven’t even heard of, and this trip series was one ideal such example.

When I was just a single year old, I took a solid month in Shanghai, where I was just about famous and awfully popular in ways even I can barely comprehend today. Mind you, it’s been so long since then my passport has just expired, but that was only the first of many distant adventures.

When we went to Canada, we almost got turned away at the border because my eldest brother didn’t have his driver’s license… don’t know how he could, what on account of him being all of like 6 years old at the time and what not.

But then we traveled to even more extravagant and exotic lands, like San Francisco and Puerto Rico, which I still struggle to believe are parts of this same American country as I live in all the time. We had good fun in those places, despite some follow-up emails from one of the two places (care to guess which) saying that we’re nothing but insulting jerks to their wonderful island heritage… whoops, did I just give away the secret?

Well, I suspect the language barrier may have been the problem, but we’ve seen a number of really horrible, insulting slams for our coverage, even when the proprietors reviewed found much fun and tribute in our writings.

But last summer we went some place even more distant and exotic… we went to Montana.

Our series of articles were pretty good (as you may have noticed,) but now those pieces have been bought for outright syndication to the latest, greatest, middle-American niche publication, www.MontanaWithKids.com.

So whether or not you find everything you’re looking for here, or if you don’t, you can check them out online because they’ve got every last bit of our best works from Montana (including a lot of stories that you’ll never see on this site.)

So please to enjoy, and if you like what they do (which is far more in terms of news and information than what we do,) consider bookmarking them and checking with them regularly, because even above and beyond us, they’re awesome.

ABOVE: If you doubt how great these people are, just check out the site and see how the backgrounds are all transparent, and how the pages all look just plain awesome. It's a killer site, and easily the most professional of any we've syndicated in the past.
ABOVE: If you doubt how great these people are, just check out the site and see how the backgrounds are all transparent, and how the pages all look just plain awesome. It’s a killer site, and easily the most professional of any we’ve syndicated in the past.