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Anaconda's Washoe Theater: A National Treasure
Main between 3rd and 4th in Anaconda

The Washoe Theater in Anaconda is ranked as the fifth most beautiful theater in the nation by the Smithsonian Institute. While the exterior appears as many smalltown theaters of times gone by, the interior is stunning in its decor. Original Art Deco light fixtures and furnishings are set off by ornate silver, copper, and gold leaf accents. Ceiling and wall murals decorate the interior hallways. Elegant light fixtures look down on the deep carpet of the stairs and second floor. Sitting inside the 1,000 seat theater, the visitor is overwhelmed by the opulent decor. Hand painted curtains depict rearing deer in gold and red against a turquoise background. Mosaic murals line the walls, and hand carved ram's heads line the ceiling. The dome of the theater is decorated with a mural done in soft pastel shades of powder blue, red, and yellow. The scene illustrates modern civilization’s dependence on copper. The pilasters and proscenium surrounding the stage are decorated in eight shades of gold and accented with copper leaf.

The Washoe was designed by Seattle architect B. Marcus Priteca and built during the glory days of the movie industry. During that time, huge, elaborate movie palaces were constructed in homage to the filmmakers. Few but the Washoe still stand today.

Reprinted from “The Ultimate Montana Atlas & Travel Encyclopedia

On This Date in Montana History: November 27, 1960
The Crow Tribe Claims Victory After Years of Mistreatment

Prior to 1851, the Crow Nation’s territory extended from southern Montana into north-central Wyoming. In accordance with a governmental agreement, the tribe was to be provided with an annual supply of trade goods for fifty years. In return, the tribe would peacefully allow white pioneers to pass through the territory. Although the tribe favored the terms of this agreement, the US Government soon decided to amend the terms. In 1851, the Fort Laramie Treaty was approved, stipulating that the tribe had to give up some of its territory with trade goods provided for only ten years. When the Montana Gold Rush began in the 1860s, the Crow Nation was hit hard again. The 1851 treaty was renegotiated in 1868 to provide settlers with easier access to the mining district.

Following the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the US Government forced the Crow Tribe to surrender their lands in the Upper Yellowstone Valley, the Beartooth Plateau, and the Boulder River area. Hoping to provide the Northern Pacific Railroad with a route through the Yellowstone River Valley and white settlers with rich farmland, Congress drastically reduced the reservation size in 1882. In 1887, the Allotment Act further reduced the tribe’s territory as parts of the reservation were opened to pioneers for homesteading.

After years of mistreatment at the hands of the US Government, the Crow Tribe fought back and filed a lawsuit. On November 27, 1960, the Court of Indian Claims awarded the Crow Tribe its long-awaited victory. The tribe received an $11 million settlement to compensate for underpayment of lands taken from them in the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty and subsequent acquisitions.

Montana Trivia: Big Sky Resort

Famous newscaster, Chet Huntley, was the driving force behind the construction of the Big Sky Ski Resort. He was born in Cardwell, Montana and died only three days before the grand opening of the resort.

Reprinted from “The Ultimate Montana Atlas & Travel Encyclopedia

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