Garfield County Museum

Garfield County Museum

952 Jordan Avenue,Jordan 59337,Northeast Montana

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A one-room schoolhouse sits beside the museum and is completely furnished with everything from old textbooks to the water pail and double desks from old schools in the area.

Dr. Farrand practiced in the county for over 50 years and delivered around 3,000 babies. There is a special display of pictures of many of “his” babies and his medical tools.

This summer the museum is starting a Hall of Fame featuring early settlers. The first section will be of people who came before 1910. If you know someone who should be in this section, please drop the museum a note and picture, if possible.

Garfield County, then part of Dawson County, was one of the last areas to be homesteaded. Arthur Jordan arrived at the Big Dry in the summer of 1896 and by 1900 had a small trading post and a post office.

Most of the homesteaders came to the area around 1912. At one time before the dry 1930s, there were around 8,000 people in the county. Now there are around 1,500 and a third of them live in Jordan.

There has never been a train so they came in wagons and later cars and trucks. Many of the things they brought with them are housed in this museum that opened in 1984.

Displays include a bedroom, a parlor, a dining room and kitchen decorated by local ladies’ clubs, drug and hardware store collections, a blacksmith shop, early photography, World War I uniforms, animals of the area, and an almost complete file of old Jordan Tribunes.

An addition to the west side of the museum houses antique farm machinery.

A fiberglass replica of a triceratops, which may have weighed 12 tons and stood ten feet tall in real life, stands in its diorama along the north wall.

HarIey Garbani from the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History dug up the original on the Frank McKeever ranch about 25 miles northwest of Jordan in 1965.

In the Cretaceous sediments of the badlands along the Missouri River, paleontologists have made some of the first and most important fossils finds.

Just after the turn of the century Dr. Barnum Brown of the American Museum of Natural History found the first Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Hell Creek area north of Jordan.

In 1989 a Garfield County couple found an almost complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton along the shore of Fort Peck Lake, the seventh in the area. It is now in the Museum of the Rockies.

Smaller fossils such as mollusks, fish, leaf prints, figs, and even dinosaur eggs are found in the gumbo hills. Many of these are displayed in the museum. Reprinted from museum brochure


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