Since I’ve started Wanted: Mail Order Husband which is the first book in Fort Benton, Montana Series, I decided to go over there to take a look through their pioneer village and museum.
Fort Benton is the birthplace of Montana. They were a thriving town as long as the steamboat was the preferred method of transportation, but when the railroad came in, it stopped being a big hub in the state. It was a “wild” west town in its early days. People were shot in the street, and it got pretty rowdy on the main street at night with the gambling and prostitution. I also learned that buffalo hunting was a huge deal in this area of the United States from both Native Americans and the white settlers. Also, grasshoppers were a hardship people who grew crops had to contend with. Those are just a couple of highlights I learned along the way. I have some good material for this upcoming series that will be a lot of fun.
I thought I’d share some of the pictures my husband and I took. The things on display ran the range from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Here are a couple of restored buildings.
On the second floor this building was the dentist, eye doctor, and regular doctor. The mercantile was on the main floor. We were able to go inside and see all of the items that were in them.
This is what a dentist’s office used to look like:
This is in the mercantile:
Here’s a buggy:
This is an old cookstove with pots and pans:
Here is a kitchen sink with a pump:
And since I love to write romance, the pictures would be incomplete with a groom’s and bride’s clothing:
Next time I go to Fort Benton, I will take some pictures of the town as it is today. It really is a picturesque place. They have done a wonderful job of preserving their history.
Thanks Ruth for sharing your awesome pics from your trip to Fort Benton 🙂 It’s so inspiring to look at history and to see how people used to live, and it’s also educational for writing western romance! Love your blogposts… always good to hear what you’re working on or pics from your trips like this post. Thanks for sharing Ruth 🙂
I’ll share more pictures in the next post. Seeing a place like that is the best way to research. I’m not much into reading history books. I’d much rather visit a place and take a bunch of pictures. 🙂
I agree…. walking through an old town definitely gives you a better idea of history! My hubby and I are planning on going to the Historic Bar U Ranch(a couple hours Southwest of Calgary) next weekend. It’ll be great to see how they started ranching in the 1880s 😉 Thanks again for sharing the pics and the details Ruth!
Oh how exciting! That sounds like a fun trip. I think a walk through a town, or a ranch, is worth hours of reading. There’s nothing like being right there and seeing it for yourself. 🙂 I hope you and your husband have a great time!
Thank you for sharing! I love these pictures. And I can’t wait to read the series.
Going through and learning the history of the town inspired some great ideas. I’m impressed with how well they have preserved their history.
Ah, hon. You really need to Oregon. We have enough western/Pioneer places to keep you happy for years. The End of the Oregon Trail Museum is beyond fantastic and lots and lots of native american places as well.
I would LOVe to see that stuff! We have a camper and one my goals is to visit Oregon so I can check it out, but that’s going to be a couple of years out. I’d like to get the house paid off and the debt all cleared up first. Then I can really enjoy the trip. 🙂
I live in Fort Benton. The museum is just one of the places to go. There’s the Fort itself and the Grand Union. In a few of the town’s surrounding us there are still the old jail houses.
Fort Benton at one time it was the inner most port in the world. There is so much history here.
There is a lot of history there! I was impressed by how well preserved history is there. I have been to the Fort. An author friend of mine wrote a historical western romance series about a Fort that was further south, and it was hard for me to imagine how a Fort looked until I went to the one in Fort Benton. I still haven’t been to the Grand Union, though. I still have to do that. My family and I first checked out Fort Benton two years ago back in the fall, and I was struck by how beautiful everything was, especially with the leaves changing color. You guys have one of the most scenic places I’ve ever visited. 🙂
We’ve lived here for 10 years and have gone to the Grand Union 1 time. The full wall around the Fort is newer as it used to be just the one wall. They have done a good job with preserving the various points of history.
Thanks for commenting! What did you think of the Grand Union? I didn’t know that about the Fort wall. Fort Benton is my favorite place to visit in Montana. I live in Great Falls, so it’s easy enough to take a visit. I wished I hadn’t waited so long to check out more of the historical sites. My family usually goes for a walk along the town whenever we’re there. 🙂