|Broadus, Montana Cultural Attractions, Musuem, Native American Indian Culture and Cowboys!|
|Looking for cultural and historical information? This area is rich with it! Click here to visit the Powder River County Museum, the Last Great Hunting Ground Native American history and artifacts, the Cowboys!|
|or meander on back to: Judge's Chambers Restaurant, lodging, cultural attractions, out & about Broadus, buffalo jumps..., home, e-mail us!|
Powder River County Museum
A great surprise in this small western town, you don't want to miss this. Featuring the life's work of Mac McCurdy, this is one of the finest shell and prehistoric collections in the world.
Housed in the old lumberyard, the various rooms are filled with artifacts from the region. It includes fine Native American arrowheads, tools and artifacts, US Military items from various skirmishes and disasters. Hear the story of the fateful night on the Little Powder when over 100 horses and mules died. Reynolds Battlefield is nearby. This was a precursor to the regions Battle of the Little BigHorn, where Custer met his end. You can still go to these spots and find artifacts.
A great variety of old tractors, cars and equipment fill the large yard of the Museum. Cowboys, settlers and all the characters of the old west can be remembered here. If you recall the Powder River was the last river crossed in the mini-series "Lonesome Dove". This valley was considered the Last Great Hunting Grounds of the Native Americans and is America at its most romantic.
Long before America existed, Dinosaurs ruled this prehistoric coastal area. Fossilized bones abound, as well as petrified and preserved remains of millions of creatures. You can see many examples at the Museum. Wind and rain uncover a new crop of these ancient pieces each year. They wait to be picked up on the hills around town. This may be your chance to find a real dinosaur fossil or Indian arrowhead.
See the motel office for a tour and become a real explorer.
The Last Great Hunting Ground of Native Americans
Only a short drive from several Native American Reservations, the Powder River valley is at the heart of Indian home life the world is most familiar with. Dances with Wolves was filmed only a short distance away. This region was in the infamous 1868 treaty. A vote of congress revoked the treaty in 1874, when gold was found in the adjoining Black Hills.
For centuries Plains Indians came to this region to put up food for the winter. If you fly low over the western United States it becomes clear how much of the land is covered by desert until you reach this Oasis in the American west. It's easy to imagine enormous herds of buffalo stretching out across these hills. Several buffalo jumps are in the region, where these huge beasts were cleverly herded on foot over the cliffs. Creating the winter supply of food, hides and bone tools for the coming year. For thousands of years large encampments were made at the foot of these jumps.
Teepee rings, arrowheads and other stone tools can be found in this valley. Every rancher will tell stories of walking across familiar ground and spying these artifacts laying on top of the ground. If you've ever thought archeology looked fun, but didn't want to dig, this may be your chance.
Day trips to the various reservations are a must. To the west you will find Northern Cheyenne and Crow tribes. To the southeast the Lakota Sioux reside. If you are interested in the lives of these complex and fascinating people, Broadus is the perfect place to center an in-depth or cursory investigation into their past.
This is Lewis and Clark country, if you've seen or read about these explorers, you will recall the trek past Pompeii's Pillar, not far down highway 212. Likewise, if you've seen Ken Burn's, The West, your curiosity may already be piqued.
Some taste treats handed down from these original residents can be found at the famous Judges Chambers Restaurant.
Whether you're spending the night or a month, you're
exploration of this lands history will be a fulfilling addition to your life.
Pictured at right is the Judge's Chambers "Boss" at work with the neighbors. If you saw "Lonesome Dove" you know how the cowboy first came to this country. The 'Big Sky' and a big life are the Powder River Valley hallmarks. Ranching has been the foundation of this region for over 100 years now. From the massive cattle herds of the early days, to land act settlers who came and went, to current ranches large and small, feeding the country and the world has sustained this lifestyle.
Most any rancher can take you to a spot on their ranch and tell you how Granddad (or Dad, depending on the fellow your talking to) came to that spot with nothing but a wagon, a mule and forty dollars. Back breaking work in the heartbreaking grip of mother-nature put men, women and their families to a test of endurance.
The recent land rush in Montana is reminiscent of the many such trends throughout the past one hundred years. In some ways the modern rancher is under siege just as the Native Americans were in early times. Of course today the rancher is not being hunted and slaughtered, but starved out, pushed off and bought up. As one ol' boy put when a new comer was trying to buy his best horse, "Hell, all I'd have is your damn money, but you'd have my horse." The nurturing, sweat and blood these pioneers put into their land and livestock is a personal investment few professions require.
On a drive through the area you're likely to encounter people working on their ranches much like the first cowboys did. In town you'll see them in their old pickups and standard dress; boots, jeans and a big ol' hat. You can rest assured that the sweat stains and damage to their gear comes from hard work and long years.
Ask at the Motel Office if you'd like to take a drive to more remote locations, view the beautiful landscape and see these people of the west. The roads are safe (4X4 not required) and the people friendly. It's a joy you won't find on the Interstate.
As you drive past ranch folks at work or in town, just give a
wave to say "Howdy and thanks", they'll probably wave back just as friendly as
you please. It's the reason we're known as 'the Wavingest Town in the West'.
| - More contact information:
Judge's Chambers Restaurant for reservations call 406-436-2002.
Motel and Museum information call 406-436-2626. For Motel reservations and info you can also e-mail us.
Please send ALL regular mail inquiries to Broadus Motels, 101 West Holt Street, P.O. Box 3 Broadus, Mt. 59317