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Museum of the Rockies
On the MSU campus at 600 W. Kagy Blvd., Bozeman. 994-2251

When you walk through the Museum of the Rockies, you travel through more than four billion years in time. Learn about history and prehistory of the northern Rockies region through exhibits ranging from paleontology and Native American artifacts to historic photography and antique vehicles. Start your walk through time with a look at the universe and Montana's Big Sky in the Taylor Planetarium. The Taylor Planetarium is one of 25 facilities in the world with a computer graphics system that can simulate flight through space. It is the only major public planetarium in the surrounding three-state region.

The museum is well known for its paleontology research. On display are several important finds including the skulls of Torosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops and an 80 million-year-old nest of dinosaur eggs. Working at Montana sites, the museum's curator of paleontology, Jack Horner, has discovered important information about dinosaur biology and in recent years has made discoveries of international significance. One of the most spectacular finds, a Tryannosaurus Rex, has been cast in bronze and the 38 foot long and 15 foot tall skeleton stands in front of the museum.

Montana's rich agricultural history is portrayed at the museum's living history farm where the daily life of early homesteaders is recreated for visitors.

The Museum of the Rockies is open daily from 8am - 8pm (summer) and 9am - 5 pm Monday through Saturday and 12:30 - 5pm Sundays (winter). An admission fee is charged to nonmembers. For more information about exhibits, tours and planetarium shows call (406) 994-2251 or visit

Reprinted from The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia

The Story’s of Montana

Nelson and Ellen Story met and married in Kansas before coming to Bannack and Alder Gulch in 1863. Nineteen-year-old Ellen baked pies and bread to sell to the miners while Nelson operated a store and mined a claim from which he took $40,000 in gold.

It was in Alder Gulch that Story’s famous participation in frontier justice took place. Road agent (robber) George Ives had been charged with murder by an informal judge and jury. A crowd of several thousand spectators gathered as darkness fell. Ives stood on a packing box with a noose around his neck. A rescue party of his friends stood up with their guns, but “quick as thought” Story pulled the box (or kicked it, depending on whose version you hear) out from under Ives and he was hanged.

The Storys decided to settle in Bozeman and Ellen stayed there in 1866 while Nelson went down to Texas to drive his famous herd of 3,000 longhorns and a wagon train up to Montana. Not only did he fight his way through thousands of hostile Indians, but he also had to outwit the U.S. Army who wanted to turn back the expedition for its own safety. Story had to sneak 3,000 longhorns past the troops in the dark. These cattle that were driven into the Gallatin Valley formed the nucleus for Montana’s cattle industry.

Ellen gave birth to seven children. Three sons and one daughter survived. Nelson’s successes in cattle, a flour mill and other business ventures enabled them to build a 17 room mansion in the 1880s. This exquisite building was torn down in 1938. Marble columns from the mansion were salvaged to decorate the family plot.

The Ellen Theatre on Main Street was named for Mrs. Story. Nelson Story was instrumental in bringing Montana State College to Bozeman. Both lived long and productive lives and were major figures in building the Bozeman community. Both are buried in the Bozeman Cemetary.

Reprinted from The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia

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