The Pioneer Museum
The Pioneer Museum
317 W. Main Street
Bozeman, MT 59715
The Pioneer Museum Description
History-loving grown-ups will appreciate the 1870s log cabin, the Lewis and Clark exhibit, and the display about actor and Bozeman native Gary Cooper at this small museum packed with artifacts. For kids, it's all about the jail cells, hanging gallows (they'll love the story of banjo-playing Seth Danner, who was executed in 1924 for killing two fellow campers), and the loot collected from law breakers and other bad guys during the years the Pioneer Museum served as the county jail. Gentler souls will enjoy the lady's parlor and the five generations of wedding dresses.
School-Age Kids: The jail cells and gallows are the obvious draw, but don't miss the display of Native American tools and arrowheads, as well as the gun collection (including the "Big Horn Gun" used against the Sioux Nation in the Yellowstone Valley).
Pre-Teens & Teens: Even the chronically bored will find something interesting here, including nineteenth-century household items, a whisky still, and old cars. They'll be fascinated to learn about Bozeman founder John Bozeman, who got rich selling supplies to miners and was murdered under mysterious circumstances.
- Eat lunch downtown. There are no dining facilities, but the museum is only two blocks from downtown, where options are plentiful.
- Bring a camera. Pose the kids in a jail cell and snap away.
- Family historians are in luck. The museum is run by the Gallatin Historical Society, and includes a library with military records, oral histories, family histories, county records, and more than 10,000 historic photographs (you can buy copies for a modest fee).
Just the Facts
Hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Labor Day-Memorial Day: Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fees: Under $10
Recommended Time: 1 - 2 hours