Montana Railroad Map (1952)

"Among the Indians" Map (1868)

A map from the book "Among the Indians, Eight years in the Far West: 1858-1866" by Henry A. Boller.

Another 50 Things You Didn't Know About Montana


Everyone seemed to enjoy my previous post 50 Things You Didn't Know About Montana, so I decided to lock and reload. So after some exhaustive research I decided to take some time off of making photos about Montana and come up with a list of 50 MORE things you didn't know about Montana. It's a lot harder than you might think putting an article like this together. For starters, I try to confirm every "fact," and it needs to be sufficiently obscure that the vast majority of people reading this article didn't know it to be true.

I hope you find these as entertaining and interesting as the last list. Enjoy!

Though it is one of the coldest states in the country, Montana has some positively warm-weather creatures thriving in the state. Can you believe it?  → Buy This Print

1.)  Montana has the slowest average Internet speed in the country. People living in Estonia, Kazakstan, and Madagascar have a faster average Internet speed than those of us who live in Montana.

2.)  Six towns in America are named Montana:  Montana, Arkansas; Montana, Kansas; Montana, New Jersey; Montana, Ohio; Montana, Wisconsin; and Montana, West Virginia. However, there are no towns in Montana named Arkansas, Kansas, New Jersey, Ohio, Wisconsin, or West Virginia.

3.)  Montana was the first state to repeal its enforcement of the prohibition of alcohol in 1926.

4.)  It is against the law for a woman in Helena, Montana to dance on a table in a bar unless she is wearing 3.125 lbs. of clothing.

5.)  Though Montana is one of the coldest states in the U.S., it is home to seven different types of cactuses, six species of lizards, one breed of scorpion, and a thriving population of tropical fish in Ruby Lake near Madison, Montana.

6.)  The largest fish ever caught in Montana was a 77-inch, 142 lbs. 8 oz. paddlefish caught on the Missouri River near James Kipp Recreation Area in 1973.

7.)  Prior to becoming President of the United States, then New York State Assemblyman Theodore Roosevelt found himself in a hotel in Mingusville (now Wibaux), Montana where he punched out a drunken bully who teased him about his glasses.

The average age of a rancher in Montana is 60 years of age.  → Buy This Print

8.)  There is one horse for every seven people living in Montana. Only Wyoming and South Dakota have more horses per capita than Montana.

9.)  Slippery Ann is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts who want to observe wild elk in their natural habitat. It gets its name from nearby Slippery Ann Creek...which was named after Cyprian Matt; a notorious fur trader who operated a trading post near there in the 1880s. Somewhere along the way Cyprian Creek became Siparyann Creek, which became Slippery Ann Creek.

10.)  Helena, Montana had the electric service installed in August 1882. New York City did not have electric service installed until a month later.

11.)  The average age of a rancher in the state of Montana is 60.

12.)  Glacier National Park has 48 glaciers, the largest of which is Blackfoot Glacier, which is approximately 400 acres in size. And shrinking. By 2020 it is estimated there will be no more glaciers in Glacier National Park.

13.)  The last passenger pigeon in the state was shot in Waterton, Montana on August 23, 1874.

14.)  There are only eight escalators in the state of Montana.

15.)  Approximately 546 cities in the world have a larger population than the entire state of Montana...despite it being the fourth largest state in the United States.

16.)  The town of Ismay in Custer County is the smallest town in Montana with a population of just 19 people. The residents of Ismay once considered changing its name when they learned a man named Ismay pushed his way onto a lifeboat ahead of women and children on the doomed British passenger liner Titanic.

17.)  By law it is illegal to bring a "bomb, grenade, or explosive missile" to a city council meeting in Billings, Montana.

18.)  Big Bud 747, built in Havre, Montana in 1977, holds the record for the world's largest farm tractor ever built. Today it is on display at the Heartland Museum in Clarion, Iowa.

19.)  The first McDonald's Restaurant in Montana was located at 1046 Grand Avenue in Billings and opened on August 19, 1969.

20.)  African American soldiers from the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps rode their bicycles through the mountains along old wagon trails and Indian paths from Fort Missoula, Montana all of the way to St. Louis, Missouri in 1897.  As such, it is argued that mountain biking was invented in Montana.

21.)  The oldest person ever executed in Montana was 70-year old Heinrich “Henry” Furhmann. He was hanged in 1883 for shooting his son-in-law three days before Christmas in the doorway of his saloon.

22.)  In 1904 the Gros Ventre tribe in north central Montana had only 535 living members. Today it has more than 3,682 people enrolled in the tribe, of which only 35 are said to still speak their native language.

23.)  Montana is the first state that requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant in order to spy on anyone in the state using the personal information stored in their electronic devices.

24.)  Butte, Montana has more than 250 miles of streets. But it also has more than 2,500 miles of tunnels underground.

25.)  Montana's mountain goats butt heads so hard their hooves can fall off.

Another 50 Things You Didn't Know About Montana (Part 2)

The landscape that is Yellowstone National Park was created a million years ago...when it was below Idaho. Since then it has moved, and it is headed your way, Billings.  → Buy This Print

26.)  96% of Yellowstone National Park lies within the state of Wyoming,  3% of the park is located in Montana, and 1% is in Idaho. However, millions of years ago the subterranean hot spot was once located underneath Idaho. If the caldera continues moving on its current path it will one day move entirely out of Wyoming and into the state of Montana. So beware Billings, don't say we didn't warn you.

27.)  Montana is the only state in the nation with no anti-bullying law.

28.)  Cowboys in Havre, Montana once argued with city officials that it should be legal to tie a horse to a parking meter. They maintained that as long as they put money in a meter, horses had as much right to park on city streets as automobiles.

29.)  Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge has more than 1.1 million acres and is the second largest wildlife refuge in the United States outside of Alaska.

30.)  Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are the only two acting U.S. Presidents since Franklin Roosevelt who did not visit Montana while in office.

31.)  Female pilots in the U.S. Army's 7th Ferrying Group based in Great Falls, Montana flew nearly 8,000 airplanes to Fairbanks, Alaska as part of America's lend-lease program to bolster the defense of the Soviet Union during World War II.

32.)  The First Interstate Center building in Billings is 272 feet (83 meters) tall and is the tallest building in the state of Montana. Only four other states have shorter tallest buildings.

33.)  Hanging was the only method of execution in the state of Montana until 1995. The last hanging in Montana, however, occurred in 1943.

34.)  Montana ranks highest in the nation for both the number of alcohol-related fatalities per 100 million miles traveled and the highest number of alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 people.

35.)  Marysville, Montana, a small unincorporated mining town in Lewis and Clack County once had a brewery and 27 saloons. And in 1892 one writer predicted Helena would become a suburb of Marysville.

36.)  Henry Plummer, the notorious outlaw who was the head of a gang responsible for nearly 100 deaths, built the first jail in Montana when he was sheriff of what became Bannack, Montana.

37.)  In October 1935 Helena, Montana was rocked by 710 earthquakes, the largest of which registered 6.5 on the Richter Scale.

38.)  Montana's state animal, the grizzly bear, on average attacks five people and kills one in Montana every year.

39.)  More dinosaurs have been discovered in Montana than in any other state.

40.)  Montana has approximately 200 active ballistic missiles; more than any other state. Each of which has up to three nuclear warheads with a yield of 300 to 500 kilotons each, or 20 to 30 times larger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in World War II.

41.)  Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park was completed in 1933 and took 12 years to build. It's cost was $2.5 million, or $45 million is today's dollars.

42.)  Montana's voters have participated in 30 U.S. Presidential elections in its history, siding with the minority just eight times (Benjamin Harrison in 1892, William Jennings Bryan in 1896 and 1900, Richard Nixon in 1960, Gerald Ford in 1972, Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012).

43.)  Montana was the first state to place a bounty on wolves. A total of 5,540 wolf hides were presented for payment in the first year of the bounty in 1884.

44.)  Montana has more elk and deer than it has people.

45.)  The average annual precipitation through much of Montana is less than 15 inches per year.

46.)  Montana has more members serving in the Peace Corps per capita than any other state.

47.)  Montana has more miles of wild trout rivers than any other state in the lower 48 states.

48.)  More automobile crashes in Montana occur on Fridays than any other day of the week. Also, more crashes occur in the month of November than in any other month of the year.

49.)  The Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana is the largest contiguous federal Superfund site in the United States.

50.)  Miley Cyrus, who became famous for her role as Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel television show of the same name, and French Montana, a Moroccan-born rapper who received notoriety recently for dating Khloe Kardashian, have never stepped foot in the state of Montana.

Their Bullets Riveted a New Star to the Flag