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Regional History

MOR’s Department of History is responsible for interpreting the cultural history of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming through exhibitions, public programming, and outreach activities. As a research institution, MOR’s focus is on our collection of historic regional artifacts with the purpose of telling the stories of the people who have lived and continue to live in the northern Rockies.

Within the museum’s history collection, researchers, students, and visitors will find American Indian artifacts, the most extensive collection of textiles and clothing in the region, archaeological collections, tools, vehicles, furnishings, and firearms. The Department of History does, on occasion, purchase items to add to its collection, however, the vast majority of artifacts come from generous individuals from all across the United States who donate them.

The Department of History’s most recent major acquisition is the Hamilton-Povah Yellowstone Collection, which documents the Hamilton and Povah Families of West Yellowstone, Montana, and their operation of the Hamilton Stores within Yellowstone National Park between 1915 and 2003. We are deeply indebted to Mrs. Ellie Povah for her donation of both artifacts and funding that make this program possible.

For further information about the collection of historical artifacts at the Museum of the Rockies, please contact Michael Fox, Curator of History; Steven B. Jackson, Curator of Art & Photography, and Lisa Verwys, Registrar.