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In This Issue:

Exciting New Program Lauch!
Now you can save from 20% to 40% on dining, shopping and lodging in the Rocky Mountain Region. Purchase Rocky Mountain Gold Certificates at the discounts above and use them as cash at any of our rapidly growing list of participating businesses. Now you can save hundreds of dollars when visiting the Treasure State. Locals save on dining, shopping, and services as well. Visit the web site for details.

Treasure State Spooks

By Kristin E. Hill

Sacajawea Inn

Tis the season for ghosts, and in Montana, there is certainly no shortage of sightings. Whether you’re looking for the perfect story to share with friends this Halloween or are merely curious about Montana’s supernatural side, you’re in for a treat with our creepy collection of tales.

Gallatin Gateway Inn, Gallatin Gateway
Built in the 1920s to accommodate passing railroad travelers, the famous Gallatin Gateway Inn is reportedly home to at least three ghosts. The first is that of an unfortunate young female housekeeper whose boyfriend murdered her in one of the inn’s upstairs guest rooms. Today’s guests report seeing her face in place of their own in the bedroom’s mirror. The second ghost, whose identity and earthly demise have never been revealed, seems more interested in playing jokes on the inn’s staff and guests versus stirring up a fright. The ghostly prankster revels in playing the player piano when it’s unplugged, turns lights on and off repeatedly, and hides kitchen utensils in absurd places around the inn. Lastly, another ghost affectionately nicknamed the “Bridegroom Ghost” makes his presence known only to brides as they prepare to walk down the aisle. Many brides married here report a chilly invisible hand around their waist as they descend the historic inn’s grand staircase into the Great Room below.   

In a place tainted with a murderous history and currently regarded as Montana’s best-preserved “ghost town”, it’s no wonder that herds of ghost hunters arrive in the 1860s town of Bannack each year. While the famous Meade Hotel still stands and is reportedly haunted, Bannack’s most famous presence appears to be that of several children who met untimely deaths at the hands of incurable diseases. For decades, visitors have reported hearing a baby cry in a cabin situated on Bannack’s southeastern side. Researchers have discovered the cabin once belonged to resident Amede Bessette, and for whatever reason, the cabin witnessed the deaths of fourteen babies from cholera, typhoid fever, and smallpox. Some speculate the babies’ ghosts still inhabit the cabin, while most supernatural experts surmise that the babies’ suffering was so intense, their cries were psychically imprinted onto the residence and are replayed with the right set of circumstances and conditions.

The Sacajawea Hotel, Three Forks
John Q. Adams built the historic Sacajawea Hotel in 1910, and it appears he never got the message that the hotel is under new management. Mr. Adam’s ghostly presence wanders through hallways and lurks in guestrooms, leaving guests perhaps feeling a bit too cared for at times. The hotel also boasts a ghostly maid whose apparition walks in and out of a remodeled wall where a linen closet was located in the hotel’s early days. Other unexplained paranormal incidents have been reported, and the Three Forks Police Department has repeatedly been called in to investigate shenanigans of the hotel’s noisier ghosts. Are you ready for your room now?

University of Montana, Missoula
The University of Montana boasts not just one haunted building, but four campus icons where paranormal activity has repeatedly been reported. From doors that open and close by themselves in the Fine Arts Building to phantom footsteps in Main Hall to a chilly presence in Brantley Hall (supposedly that of a former student who committed suicide there when it was a residence hall), the University of Montana is no stranger to ghosts. But perhaps the building where campus police and custodians have witnessed the most supernatural activity is Jeannette Rankin Hall. Once the university library, the building now houses classrooms, and reportedly, some classes occur at all hours of the night. Custodians in the building have reported hearing a group of voices in the northeast classroom late at night, yet upon entering the classroom to investigate, they find the room dark and empty. Some of the ghosts also appear fascinated with lights, turning on all the lights in the building the moment the last custodian locks up the hall for the night, or turning out the lights on custodians as they attempt to clean the hallways. Obviously, the University of Montana has some students or faculty who simply can’t bear the thought of leaving college life behind. 

Ghostly Hosts

Partially excerpted from “The Ultimate Montana Atlas & Travel Encyclopedia”

University of Montana at Missoula

While Missoula and Three Forks boast a resident ghost or two (see our feature article for more spine-tingling details!), these Montana communities also offer an array of attractions and amenities making them year-round travel hot-spots. Visit one of these ghostly hosts this Halloween or tuck them away as potential future destinations. You won’t be disappointed!

Missoula, with a population of about 55,000, sits on the Clark Fork River at the intersection of five river valleys. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, the university town (University of Montana spreads across 150 acres) is unquestionably one of Montana’s most attractive communities. Missoula, intellectually and artistically oriented, is perhaps Montana’s most cultured town. Jeanette Rankin, the first woman representative in the U.S. Congress, was born in Missoula.

This colorful city is also in the heart of some of the most beautiful outdoor splendor. The Rattlesnake Wilderness area, which bans motorized travel, begins just a mile from the city. The broad Clark Fork flows through Missoula, making Missoula truly a mecca for backpacking, river rafting and fishing. Within minutes one can leave the conveniences of the city and be amidst secluded forests, pristine rivers or rugged mountains.

Missoula is known as the “Garden City” for its imported Vermont maple trees, profuse flower gardens and lush, green landscape. The city is the hub of shopping, recreation, education and entertainment for western Montana. A shopper’s paradise, Missoula has a variety of specialty shops, art galleries, as well as a modern mall with over one hundred stores.

The town acquired its name from the British explorer David Thompson who mapped the area in 1812 and dubbed it Ne-missoola-takoo, meaning “at the cold chilling waters” in the Salish language. Another theory is that it came from the Salish “In mis sou let ka,” meaning “river of awe.” In 1860 the first settlement made its home here and the town developed quickly as a regional center for mining, logging and the railroad industry.

If you’re a history buff, you’ll love Missoula. Twenty-seven city buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the old Northern Pacific Depot. Other highlights are The Missoula Museum of Arts, Historical Museum of Fort Missoula, Missoula Memorial Rose Garden, and the Smokejumper Training Center and Aerial Fire Depot—the largest smoke-jumper base in the United States.

Three Forks is situated near the convergence point of the three rivers of the Missouri River about 30 miles from Bozeman. The three forks making the confluence of the Missouri River are: the Jefferson River, the Gallatin River and the internationally-famous Madison River. The town lies at 4,081 feet and is protected by the Rocky Mountains leaving the eastern side mild in the winter with cool mountain breezes in the summer.

Historically, the three tributaries of the Missouri have brought people of various cultures together. The Indians came together at this point because it was a convergence for wildlife and a crossroads of hunting trails. Fur traders found these river junctions a useful trading location. Today the Headwaters Heritage Museum and Missouri Headwaters State Park preserve the history of this confluence of peoples and rivers.

The areas at the headwaters and at Three Forks has some of the most colorful early history in Montana. Three Forks was the crossroads of Indian trails. Just west of town, Sacajawea as a child was captured from her tribe, the Shoshones. She married a French-Canadian trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau, and together they guided the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the area in 1805.

The Corps of Discovery arrived at the headwaters of the Missouri River in July 1805. They camped for a week along the Jefferson River just above the headwaters, while Clark recovered from a fever. In 1806, Clark was guided by Sacajawea across the valley from the three forks to the pass leading directly into the Yellowstone River.

Three Forks is also the site of one of the bloodiest battles ever fought between the Blackfeet, the Flatheads and the Crow. John Colter took part in this fight on the side of the Flatheads and the Crows in 1808. Colter’s allies, though fewer in number, won the battle. In April 1810, the Missouri Fur Company established Fort Three Forks, but because of constant Indian attacks, the fort was abandoned before it was completed. Kit Carson narrowly escaped from a Blackfeet brave whom he killed on the bluffs north of Three Forks. This fascinating history is displayed on plaques at the Headwaters State Park or from the Headwaters Heritage Museum in downtown Three Forks.

Only eighteen miles west of Three Forks is the Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, a treasure you won’t want to miss! This is Montana’s first state park and has perhaps the most impressive limestone caves in the northwestern United States. It is truly an underground fairyland of ancient stalactites and stalagmites created millions of years ago. There is a gradual sloping trail leading to the caverns entrance and once inside be prepared for over 600 steps leading through hands-and-knees crawl space, narrow rock slides and cathedral-size chambers. The cave’s interior is a constant 50 degrees.

Montana Cowboy Trivia

From “Montana Trivia” by Janet Spencer, Riverbend Publishing

Click here for price and order information and to view more Ultimate Press products

Q. How much did cowboys earn in 1999?

A. An average of $10,151 per year, one of the lowest paid jobs in Montana.

Q. Who abandoned the family ranch north of Helena to become an actor because “getting up at 5:00 in the morning in the dead of winter to feed 450 cows at 40 below ain’t romantic”?

A. Gary Cooper.

Q. Why did both cowboys and Indians customarily wear garments with fringes?

A. Because fringes wick rainwater away from the garment, helping it dry faster.

Q. What ended the cattle drives from Texas to Montana?

A. The advent of the railroad.

Q. When parking meters were installed, cowboys insisted on putting their money in them and tying their horses to them, causing controversy in what town?

A. Havre.

Recipe from:
The Yellowstone National Park Cookbook

By Durrrae Johaneck
Riverbend Publishing

Click here for price and order information and to view more Ultimate Press products

While this Yellowstone cookbook contains an interview of a chef and several of his recipes, it also offers dishes from such well-known park personas as the wolf project leader, a park ranger, and many others. Some recipes are pulled from inherited family cookbooks, and some come with special directions for doctoring according to personal taste. Featuring an eclectic mix of represented styles and cultures, this unique cookbook guarantees you'll find something delicious to make and someone interesting to meet on every page.

Pumpkin Bread
By Suzanne Lewis, Park Superintendent

In 2002, Suzanne Lewis became the first woman in Yellowstone history to accept the position of Park Superintendent, and not a day goes by that she doesn’t love her job. When she’s not busy communicating about park affairs within Yellowstone, across the U.S., and even internationally, Suzanne loves to relax at home with one of many family favorite recipes. Her pumpkin bread, the result of experimentation on her part, is a delicious complement to this year’s Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons.

3 eggs
1 1 / 2 cups sugar
1 1 / 2 cups pumpkin
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 1 / 2 tsp. vanilla
2 1 / 4 cups flour
1 1 / 2 tsp. baking soda
1 1 / 2 tsp. baking powder
1 1 / 2 tsp. salt
1 1 / 2 tsp. cinnamon
1 / 4 tsp. cloves
1 / 4 tsp. ginger
1 / 4 tsp. nutmeg
3 / 4 cup chopped pecans 

Beat eggs and sugar together well. Add pumpkin, oil, and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Sift flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add to pumpkin mixture and beat. Add pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in two well-greased loaf pans.

Featured Books

Some Like It Hot!

By Susan Neider
Riverbend Publishing

Click here for price and order information and to view more Ultimate Press products

Geyser gazers will love this hot new book about Yellowstone! Yellowstone National Park’s thermal features are beautifully photographed in the new book, Some Like It Hot! by acclaimed landscape photographer Susan M. Neider, who spent several years studying and photographing the park’s geysers and hot springs. The resulting portfolio includes nearly 100 stunning color images and is uniquely organized by geographic region so it’s easy to find favorite geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles.

Primarily a book of gorgeous photos, the book is enhanced with brief historical descriptions by early explorers, including General H.D. Washburn, F.V. Hayden, and famed conservationist John Muir. These excerpts, matched to photos of the described thermal features, effectively emphasize the timeless beauty and wonder of the park.

At only $19.95, Some Like It Hot  is a high quality, affordable keepsake for all fans of Yellowstone and a must-have book for the growing ranks of self-described “geyser gazers.”

The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia - Yellowstone Gateway Edition

by Michael Dougherty, Heidi Pfeil-Dougherty and Kristin Hill

Click here for price and order information and to view more Ultimate Press products

Brand new! Now Shipping! The newest offering from Ultimate Press covers the Yellowstone Gateway Region from Red Lodge to Virginia City. Now in full color, the book exceeds the reputation of Ultimate Press for providing the most comprehensive books available on areas in the Northern Rockies. The book has 184 color pages packed with maps, photos, history, attractions, dining, lodging, camping, fishing, hikes, scenic drives, and more. It also contains a complete guide (50+ pages) to touring Yellowstone National Park. Over 72 maps including highway, town and city, demographic, tours, ski areas, camping and fishing, and more. But rather than waste space telling you about the incredible amount of content in the book, visit the Ultimate Press bookstore and order a copy for yourself today or download the entire book for free!

Includes complete guide to Yellowstone National Park — Complete information on the Montana gateway area from Virginia City to Red Lodge — 73 maps: highway, city and town, tours, specialty — All restaurants — All Motels — All public campgrounds — All private campgrounds — All Forest Service cabins — Travel and relocation information — Airports — Fishery information — Lewis & Clark points of interest — Public golf courses — Museums and historical sites — Historical information — Hot springs — Hikes — Cross-Country Ski Trails — Downhill ski area information — Scenic drives and sidetrips — Ghost towns — Attractions — Adventure — Hundreds of photographs — Weather information — Information on all cities and towns — Directory of schools, churches, government offices, municipal offices, businesses and more!

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