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  • January 2019

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    Story Ideas

    Looking for story ideas? Here are some of our favorite haunts here in Southeast Montana, from a hotel with friendly ghosts to a saloon with the world’s best baked beans. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact nick@southeastmontana for more information.


    Bucking Horse Sale: Montana’s Biggest Kegger

    DSC_4151During the third weekend in May, the Bucking Horse Sale (BHS) is a four-day event in Miles City that showcases some of the finest bucking stock in the world. Cowboys ride the stock as onlookers bid on the stock.

    The weekend’s events include a parade, a street dance, concerts, and horse races. Oh, and did we mention drinking lots and lots of alcohol? Miles City prides itself on being the “The Friendliest Town in the West” and with the help of a few empty beer cans, their residents are just a little bit friendlier when the Bucking Horse Sale comes to town.


    Evelyn Cameron Gallery: A Window to the Past

    _MG_0112When Evelyn Cameron and her husband Ewen moved to Eastern Montana just before the turn of the 20th century, they left behind a life of wealth and privilege in England. When their business of raising polo ponies failed, Evelyn turned to photography as a source of income. She captured life on the plains from 1893 until her death in 1928.

    Evelyn’s work was discovered in the basement of an Eastern Montana home, 50 years after her death. Among the dirt and dust were 35 leather-bound diaries and over 1400 glass-plate and nitrate negatives. Janet Williams, a friend of Evelyn’s, had stored Evelyn’s legacies in her basement after Evelyn’s death.

    Although Evelyn captured many images, she is best known for her portraits of the often-forgotten pioneer women in the West.


    Paleontologist for a Day: Baisch’s Dino Digs

    28 Donnie Sexton          Digging Fossils

    Baisch’s Dinosaur Digs is located on a privately owned ranch just a few miles east of Glendive and within sight of Makoshika State Park. The badlands of Eastern Montana is home to the highest concentration of dinosaur fossils in the world and the Baisch property is part of the Hell Creek Formation, an area in Eastern Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and parts of Wyoming, rich in fossils.

    With a few exceptions, excavators are allowed to keep what they discover while digging on the ranch. Guides lead visitors on a tour of the ranch and assist with safely removing and identifying fossils.

    Prices for excursions are $100/day and $75/half-day per adult. Children under the age of 12, if accompanied by a paying adult, can dig for free. Outings are made by reservation only and occur between April and October, weather permitting.


    Kempton Hotel: Where All the Ghosts are Friendly

    IMAG0003Built in 1902, the Kempton Hotel in Terry, Montana is state’s oldest continually operated hotel. The hotel’s close proximity to the Terry Badlands makes it a favorite place to stay for visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the country’s rugged landscape…and some ghosts.

    In her 2010 novel More Haunted Montana, Karen Stevens featured the hotel in a book of haunted haunts across the state.

    During their stay at the Kempton, guests have claimed to hear the clink of china in the long-closed restaurant and the sound of footsteps in empty hallways. A woman in a white dress has been seen by guests both in the attic and at the base of the attic stairs. When influenza swept the country in 1918, the attic of the hotel housed influenza patients when the hospital ran out of room.  Some believe that the ghosts who haunt the hotel were patients who died from the illness. But don’t worry – these ghosts are friendly.


    World’s Best Baked Beans: Jersey Lilly Saloon

    20080516_MC_Bucking_Horse_08_008So you’re visiting Montana and want a real taste of the Wild West? Look no further than the Jersey Lilly Saloon in Ingomar.

    There, it’s not uncommon to see shiny 4X4s parked out front, next to horses tied at the hitching post. Add the dirt roads and cherry wood bar (and did we mention the outhouses?) and the Jersey Lilly is a true picture of the American West.

    So when you stop in (and we know you will), ask for a serving of their baked beans; word has it they’re the best in the world.


    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Custer Battlefield Museum

    When work crews built U.S. Highway 87 near Garryowen in 1926, they discovered something unusual: a nearly complete set of skeletal remains along with several buttons and bullets.

    The location of the body, along with the buttons and bullets found with it, indicated that the man was a soldier under Reno in the Seventh Cavalry, which in the 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn. Accurate identification of the body was impossible.

    The body was moved to Garryowen and placed in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. That year, 50 years after the battle, White Bull, a Sioux Indian Chief, and General Edward Godfrey met at the tomb to “bury the hatchet” and The Custer Memorial Association held a memorial service for the soldier with full military honors.