Big Horn County Historical Museum

Wow, talk about a hidden gem! Often during our travels we come to a location for one thing (in this case Custer Battlefield) and discover something equally noteworthy and entirely unexpected. This museum is located in Hardin, MT. A mere 25 miles from the battlefield, this is the nearest town of any size and the place to come for supplies. And, as it turn out, for an added dose of well-displayed history.

First, the title of “museum” is deceiving. This is more like Williamsburg or the Greenfield Village at the Ford Museum. As you can see from the pictures below, there is an indoor display area that is fascinating, and tells the story of the area from the Fort Custer era (1870s) onward.

But the location also includes more than 20 outbuildings that show life in Montana in the early 20th century. As we walked the area, I commented to Ellen that this was like walking through a full-size model railroad set. Note how many of these scenes would make great movie sets.

You will also notice the absence of other people in the pictures. While we were touring the grounds in the middle of summer, we saw exactly one other person. And it wasn’t the price that kept them away — the museum charges $6 for admission, with a $5 discounted rate for us seniors.

With my self-imposed limit of 10 pictures, I left out scenes from the soda shop, church, mortuary, artist cabin, farmhouse, mega farm mess hall, butcher shop, and others. So when you come to see Little Bighorn Battlefield, make sure you stop here and see what else you missed!