|Homesteading and Beyond: A Peek at Rural Montana Life from 1900-1930|
The Bigfork Museum of Art and History will present an April exhibit entitled “Homesteading and Beyond: A Peek at Rural Montana Life from 1900-1930”.
This show, curated by Denny and Kitty Kellogg, features homestead era implements, artifacts, photographs and documentation selected from their collection.
While the primary focus is on Western Montana, a wide range of homestead history is included.
The homestead era has long been romanticized in American literature and film. But for many homesteaders the stark reality of frontier life was daunting and, at times, too much to bear.
Although the Free Homestead Act was initiated during the tenure of Abraham Lincoln in 1862, for Montana, the real surge did not begin until the early 1900’s. This was a period of transition when the “open range” cattle industry was waning and the reservations set aside for Native Americans were thrown open to white settlement. Railroad company “boosterism” promised a bright and prosperous future.
In a sense, it was the closing of the “Old West” and the birth of the Montana we know today.
Items displayed in the exhibit offer a hands-on experience and are guaranteed to stimulate the senses and bring back memories. Each piece has a story to tell.
The accompanying commentary provided is designed to be factual, educational and, at times, humorous.
“If you don’t know how to “float” a horse’s teeth, use a “hod” or “hatchel”, how to wean a calf, when toilet paper was invented, or who Kae Kae She and “Scissorbill” Benjamin were, then put a trip to the Bigfork Museum on your April agenda.”
Opening reception is April 6 and the exhibit will be on display through April 28. It is free and open to the public.