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Gallatin History Museum

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Address: 317 W Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone Number: +1 406-522-8122
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Tue - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

Step back in time and learn about Gallatin County's heritage. Visit the...

Step back in time and learn about Gallatin County's heritage. Visit the Gallatin History Museum in Bozeman, which offers a unique glimpse into the area's past. In addition to jail cells and a hanging gallows, the museum maintains displays illustrating the unique histories of a variety of people who have called Southwest Montana home. Permanent exhibits include Native American history in the Gallatin Valley, a model of old Fort Ellis, the infamous Big Horn Gun, five generations of wedding dresses from the Accola-Spain family, and even a porcelain doll that belonged to a girl who came to Bozeman by wagon in 1864. The museum also boasts a photo archive with more than 25,000 historic images that can be reproduced for a small fee. There's a research library that includes a special Lewis and Clark collection and files on many Gallatin County communities and families. The bookstore has hard-to-find materials dealing with the history of Gallatin County for sale at reasonable prices. The Gallatin Historical Society, founded in 1977, moved into two rooms in the county jail building in 1979. Built in 1911, the jail was already considered a historic structure. When prisoners were moved to the new Law and Justice Building in January 1982, the county commissioners granted the Society use of the entire building for a museum. The Pioneer Museum was created and in 2014 the name changed to Gallatin History Museum to better reflect the collection and the mission of the organization which is to preserve, promote and foster the history of Gallatin County and Southwest Montana. The Gallatin History Museum is a 501 3C non profit and is operated by the Gallatin Historical Society. It is not a County agency and does not receive any tax dollars, but instead relies strictly on memberships, donations, and memorials to operate. Members receive a quarterly magazine that features articles on local history, free admission to the museum and discounts in the bookstore. Admission is $5.00, children under 12 and museum members free. Summer (Memorial Day-Labor Day) hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm and Winter (Labor Day-Memorial Day) hours are Tuesday - Saturday 11am- 4pm.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 57 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 38
    Excellent
  • 17
    Very good
  • 1
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Great collection, friendly docents

This is an interesting place - part jail, part library and part museum! The history of the area is interesting, and I would return.

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
randisbrown
,
Denver, Colorado

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57 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 57: English reviews
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
140 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is an interesting place - part jail, part library and part museum! The history of the area is interesting, and I would return.

Helpful?
Thank randisbrown
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Wow! Great museum with personal stories, photos and items from Montana's rich history! The museum is located in the old jail and has it's history as well. Lot's of stories and info of all the ladies of Montana that played all kinds of rolls in the progress of this state.

Helpful?
Thank Tina H
GallatinHistory, Public Relations Manager at Gallatin History Museum, responded to this review

Thank you so much for the kind words, we love our history and we love our guests! More 

Level Contributor
133 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Great and informative museum, on the history of Bozeman and its environs. The historical building used to be a jail, it is a good option to do with kids and or on a rainy day.

Helpful?
Thank Fligh
GallatinHistory, Public Relations Manager at Gallatin History Museum, responded to this review

Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to write this review. We LOVE to have kiddos in the building. More 

Fort Collins
Level Contributor
62 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2016

Very nice small museum of the local Bozeman area, we really enjoyed the exhibits and variety of the exhibits - well done.

Helpful?
Thank sagamore73
GallatinHistory, Public Relations Manager at Gallatin History Museum, responded to this review

We love our shared history and it is an honor to represent the community. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to write this review! More 

New York City, New York
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2016

I love local museums that illuminate daily life -- high class life, low class life, now or in the past -- so this was my kind of place. I stopped by for an hour during a brief overnight stay in Bozeman on my way to Yellowstone. Here are some of the things I liked best: 1. The warm welcome and... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank QQ2
GallatinHistory, Public Relations Manager at Gallatin History Museum, responded to this review

Wow...you have no idea how special this review is to us. We have so many wonderful stories to share and it is nice to know that we are on the right track! I'll share your review with your volunteer John, he'll be thrilled to know that someone took the time to write this review and remember him. Safe travels...cindy More 

Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2016

A must visit for family. Learned a lot about the local history. The jail had some interesting features.

Helpful?
Thank cruzincooper
GallatinHistory, Public Relations Manager at Gallatin History Museum, responded to this review

We love families! Thank you for visiting and for sharing this review, it means the world to us that people enjoy their time "in jail". More 

Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
57 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2016

We enjoyed the tour of the museum. The gentleman, John, was happy to take us through the museum and explain the history to us. We happened to be the first ones there and he showed us most of the museum until more people started to appear. He is very knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about his own history in Montana as... More 

Helpful?
Thank carenlburton
GallatinHistory, Public Relations Manager at Gallatin History Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting and especially for giving a shout out to our wonderful volunteer John. As he grew up a couple blocks away from the museum he is a wealth of information and truly loves our little corner in the world. More 

Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2016

Well, I was excited to see the museum. We went there after viewing website saying "open today" only to find a sign on the door saying they were closed and had been closed for a few days!

Helpful?
Thank Tia K
GallatinHistory, Board President at Gallatin History Museum, responded to this review

Dear Tia, We are so very sorry that we were out for training the day that you came by, we were able to notify our membership via email and others by Facebook but knew, sadly, that we would not be able to inform everyone. We would love for you to come in for a visit and because of this inconvenience... More 

Belgrade, Montana
Level Contributor
126 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2016

I learned more about Bozeman and the surrounding area's history at this museum than any where else in the area. There is SO much to see, you could spend a whole day here! Love going back, and every time I see something I missed before!

Helpful?
Thank LeethalBiker
GallatinHistory, Board President at Gallatin History Museum, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your review and supporting the museum. We have great ideas coming for new exhibits and look forward to your return visit. Just as a side note, the museum has another TripAdvisor page under the current name Gallatin History Museum, we have not been able to merge the two accounts but are hoping to soon. More 

Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
139 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2016

This is a great local history museum. Run by some very nice folks who are intensely proud of their history. Great items to see in the museum; including many nice artifacts. Takes about an hour to go thru; there are two levels.

Helpful?
1 Thank Sherry H
GallatinHistory, Board President at Gallatin History Museum, responded to this review

Thank you so much for taking the time to tour the museum. People are often surprised that the museum is much bigger than appears from the outside. More 

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