Reed Point is a town that has a genuine feeling of the wild west and is one of the smallest communities along the Yellowstone River. It was a booming little town in the early part of the century with 54 operating businesses. Most of the surrounding area was homesteaded and after a three-year drought and the realization by the homesteaders that they needed more than the 320-acre allotment in order to make a living in this area, they picked up and moved on further west. The little town began its slow demise at that time.
The focal point of this town is the Hotel Montana. Built in approximately 1909, this two-story brick building was originally Walkers Store, a mercantile that sold anything from farm equipment (as evidenced by the original McCormick Deering-Walkers Store sign on the south wall of the restaurant) to fancy bloomers from New York. Upstairs was a doctor ofﬁce, a lawyer ofﬁce and living quarters of the Walkers. The downstairs was always a mercantile or general store and in later years a grocery store. The upstairs was turned into a boarding house for students and teachers and in later years into three separate apartments.
It was purchased in 1994 by longtime Reed Point residents Russ and Connie Schlievert. At the time, the downstairs had been a grocery store that was closed up three years prior to their purchase and the upstairs was full of tenants in the three apartments. After about a year of using the downstairs as a warehouse for antiques and running the apartments, Russ and Connie decided to use their great store of antiques and Russ's extensive collection of old west saloon items to create the building you see today. The project, of course, cost three times its original estimate and took approximately 18 months to complete.
But complete it they did, and opened it as the Hotel Montana in 1997. Everything used to create Hotel Montana is antique and original and was collected from many other old buildings, in Montana primarily, and put together here. Each item you see in the building has its own story to tell and little pieces of history attached.
The public is welcome to tour the upstairs rooms and stay the night in them if you are so moved (it is, after all, a hotel). The costumes hanging in the rooms are for the guests. Connie says a large number of the guests dress up in the costumes and come downstairs for dinner and maybe some pictures.
Photo Gallery Red Lodge Area