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'Special place': Big Horn County Historical Museum a hidden gem in Hardin

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Posted at 8:05 PM, May 29, 2024

HARDIN - It’s a hidden gem in Big Horn County. A place that will take you back in time.

“People usually are kind of surprised by the true scale of our grounds and how many buildings that we have,” says Kyron Jeno, director of the Big Horn County Historical Museum.

The museum is one of the largest, if not the largest county museum, in Montana. It’s located on the edge of Hardin.

“For a county museum, we really have a lot of stuff out here,” says Jeno.

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The museum sits on 35 acres of history, filled with relics from the past both inside and outside.

“It’s a pretty special place out here. We have the history of the homesteaders who came here in the turn of the century and all the farming that was done. Some of the businesses that appeared around here, and also the long ancient history of the Native American groups that lived out here as well,” Jeno says.

Two dozen historic buildings have been saved from the wrecking ball, moved here and restored, much like they were in days past.

“Most of them are set up to be as they were 100 years ago or so,” Jeno says.

And each has its own story.

You can:

  • Step inside a cabin from one of the early homesteaders.
  • Check out Will James studio.
  • Visit an old doctor’s office.
  • Go inside a one-room school
  • Set foot inside and explore the old Lodge Grass train depot and some old train cars.
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The first building moved to museum grounds was a church built by early German settlers in Big Horn County.

“It was built in 1917 and then when the U.S. entered World War I, it closed for a couple of years because there was strong German sentiment,” Jeno says.

There are also dozens of vintage vehicles and rare farm equipment that has been restored.

And that’s just a fraction of what can be found at this hidden gem.

Click here for more information on the Big Horn County Historical Museum.

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