Sunday afternoon I drove into town (Deer Lodge, Montana) to check out some things we didn’t see last week. Roy chose to stay home and nap! Being a small town most everything was closed on Sunday afternoon. However, the Cottonwood City was open! It’s a neat little replica of Deer Lodge in the old days. All of the buildings are furnished with items they used back then. A school house, post office, jail, chapel, gold miners house, regular western house were among the buildings I got to see.
Here are some pictures of this little town!
The School House
The school teacher lived in a room off to the side of the school house.The all important Jail and an open coffin in front!Inside the Jail cell was awfully corroded but the Sheriff’s area was much nicerThe churchThe Post Office
The old house complete with a man in the tub!
The gold miners houseWhen I first started seeing these tress I thought the orange things were persimmons and I got very excited. When looking at it close up it’s a bunch of little orange berries. Anyone know what this is? I like to drive through the residential areas of as many towns as I can and I did that today. Here’s some houses in Deer Lodge, Montana. It’s a very clean little town.One of these days someone’s going to come out and fuss at me for taking pictures. So far I am in the clear!
UPDATE ON OUR TRAVELS: Monday morning, August 17, 2015.
We pulled out of our RV spot at Indian Creek Campground in Deer Lodge, Montana thinking we were headed for Spokane, Washington.
HOWEVER – Roy saw that Dora’s batteries weren’t charging and knew we must take action. He got on the phone with a Caterpillar (our engine) shop, Western States CAT in Missoula, MT about 90 miles away. They said to bring her in so we headed that way. Not knowing if the batteries would give out we prayed the whole way there! God does answer prayers!
When we arrived they took us into a work bay immediately. They determined it was the alternator that is not working at all, causing the batteries to drain. They called around, found a new one and received it within the hour. Thankful again that we have an extended warranty, what could have cost us several hundred only cost us $100 (our deductible). This place is fantastic, all their employees have been more than helpful while we sat comfortably in our RV playing on the computer or watching television!!!
Scott and Cody who kept us in the loop the whole time and sent us off with a smile! Here’s Cody!
We were able to leave the same day we pulled in, go to Walmart to do some much needed grocery shopping and spend the night there. This turned out to be just a hiccup in the big scheme of things! It puts us behind schedule by a little bit but not enough to affect too much!
Can’t tell you how much we appreciate how quickly they took us in and serviced Dora. Thanks Western States CAT for being a great company!
Monday, August 17, 2015 – This morning as you are reading this we are on the road to Spokane Washington. The park we were planning to stay in was Lewis and Clark RV Park in Kamiah, Idaho. We received word that they were evacuated due to a huge forest fire in the area. Many buildings have been destroyed and one person died.
So our plans changed. We will be traveling across Idaho to get to Washington where we’ll do our Walmart shopping and spend the night. Then on to Oregon!
The last two museums we toured in this amazing small town were “Frontier Museum” and “Yesterday’s Playthings”. First was the Frontier Museum. We entered to the strains of Happy Trails to you!
“God created man, but the Colt made him equal” is the title on one exhibit case in Frontier Montana Museum. This is the largest collection of handguns, spurs, chaps and all the cowboy collectibles between Cody and Calgary. The items on display are the real items used during the period of 1829 to 1900, not the props seen in the western movies.
There are over 300 handguns and rifles on display. In addition, the museum displays hats, a large spur collection, many varieties of chaps used on the frontier, horse bits, saddles, – those items a cowboy took pride in owning, and in many cases, the only items he owned.
I don’t know if she loves or has horses, but I thought of our friend Elizabeth Halpin-Smith and how she would love seeing all this. Could be my crazy brain but if you do Elizabeth you should plan to come visit Montana!
The items on display represent Don Cappa’s lifetime collection. What an amazing thing for Mr. Cappa to share his collection with all of us to enjoy! Come along as we travel back in time to the days of the Wild West! This place was very well organized and displayed. I just wish the glass didn’t reflect so much light which messes with my photographs.
This is Don Cappa in the photograph above, the owner of all this amazing stuff!
The next few pictures are of Old Time Law Enforsement items These are some gambling items from way back. A second picture showed more but didn’t come out well!Deringers and pocket guns These were considered Oddities, not your usual weapon!Suicide Specials were made very cheaply and sold for $1.50 to $2.00. People who used them would say that they never knew when they were going to blow up, nearly causing the user to commit suicide. The next two pictures are suicide specials! Next, we went to a neighboring museum, Yesterday’s Playthings. I must say Roy walked in, took a look at the overwhelming amount of dolls and said he’d wait for me outside!!!
Montana’s foremost doll and toy museum features playthings dating back to 1835. The collection of doll carriages, prams, and a bed are in pristine condition. Furniture, dishes and accessories round out the displays.
The Princess Diana exhibit was really neat. Lots of Barbie like Princess Diana dolls dressed up just like she did. I especially love the tiny wedding gown!I was afraid that so many museums would put Roy into Museum Overload but he survived, mostly by staying outside on the last one!
We have no plans yet for our two weeks in Idaho so we’re open to suggestions. We’ll be in northern Idaho.
Sunday, August 16, 2015 – Our second stop on Friday touring local museums was the Old Montana Prison which is now used as a museum.
Bands of outlaws and Vigilantes roamed early Montana Territory leaving a path of destruction and death. In an attempt to tame the Wild West, a prison was established in Deer Lodge in 1871. Constructed primarily with convict labor, Old Montana Prison was an active prison until 1979 when it was moved to a new site four miles west of town. The Old Montana Prison is listed on the national register of Historic Places.
As you will see, a lot of the prison is still set up as it was when in use. It was kind of creepy knowing we were touring where murders and other criminals were housed while incarcerated. They gave us a booklet that walks you through the self guided tour. Numbered markers in front of a specific spot correspond with information about the spot in the booklet. Really well laid out.
The Gallows inside the Theatre.; This execution scaffolding is one of few hanging gallows remaining in the United States. It’s called the Galloping Gallows because it can easily be moved from one location to another.
The sign on the sidewalk below is the farthest the prisoners could go in a certain direction without being shot!
Some very odd artwork was found in a few locations around the prison. Here’s pictures of some of it!
That ended our tour of the Old Montana Prison. Ya’ll come back now,ya’ hear!
Saturday, August 15, 2015 – Happy Saturday everyone! It’s beautiful here in Deer Lodge, Montana and we’re looking forward to a wonderful weekend!
The Old Prison Museum and Montana Auto Museum are both in Deer Lodge, Montana. The auto museum is inside of the prison museum building.
Having rested for two days we’re off for another adventure to check these out! Here’s contact information if you want to visit. Old Prison Museum, 1106 Main Street, Deer Lodge, MT 59722 (406) 846-3111
We saw the Montana Auto Museum cars first and man were they beautiful! It is so hard to believe that in this little town there are over 150 old
restored cars on display. Because of the amazing beauty of these automobiles there were a lot of pictures taken. Today’s adventures will become three separate blog posts with the Montana Auto Museum being today’s post.
While touring the museum we met another RVing couple, Jennifer and Denny from California. They were really nice and we enjoyed visiting with them. Denny has a history of owning Corvettes just like we did and that was neat! Hi there Jennifer and Denny, sure hope I spelled your names correctly. We look forward to seeing you all again in our travels. Don’t forget to check out RVillage.com!!
If antique cars aren’t your think please pass this blog post along to someone who loves them. We’ve always loved them and this tour really rang our happy bell! Hope you will enjoy coming along this adventure into the past with us!
I hope you enjoyed this abbreviated tour of the Montana Auto Museum. There were at least 100 more cars I didn’t take pictures of. We really enjoyed reliving owning or driving in some of these old cars as we walked along.
Tomorrow’s blog will be about the Old Prison which itself is the museum. That tour was self guided and actually sort of creepy. Lots of pictures of the prison to share too!