History is part of our future. By sharing history, we connect our community and country to its past and, thus, help the next generation understand their present.
We advocate for local history and promote civic engagement. History provides inspiration and enables people to discover their connection to the past.
As we look to the future, we will continue to preserve our meaningful places, documents, artifacts, images, and stories. There is a place for everyone in history and we invite you to discover your place at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.
How we help:
Did you know? The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula maintains over 50,000 objects in our collection! Your support helps us to preserve and care for these items for the benefit of future generations.
These pieces of our past help to tell the stories of the people, businesses, and times that have made Missoula the place that it is today. From the stories of early settlers to the history and happenings at the Fort to the industries that shaped our region, these pieces fit together to tell a wide diversity of stories. Our newest exhibit, Undressing History tells stories through the 30+ garments from the collection that are on display.
One with an amazing story is the uniform jacket of Colonel I. Wayne Eveland from Missoula. Eveland’s B-17 was shot down over France during World War II. It took him three months to return home, with the help of the French Underground and loyal Spanish and British citizens. In the words of Torrie Cooney, the intern who helped inspire the exhibit, “Colonel Eveland was my favorite person to learn about…He was a Bad***!”
Many objects in our collection need special care to keep them in excellent condition, including some extremely large items. Some big items require their own covered structures, like our trolley and train, while others must find room in our collection storage spaces.
One extra oversized item is the last roll of paper made in Montana on January 8, 2010! The museum worked with Smurfit-Stone to collect artifacts related to the company’s paper mill history in Missoula County. Frenchtown was home to one of their factories making paperboard and paper-based packaging products. This paper roll, signed by the employees of the Frenchtown site, was donated to the museum along with photographic slides, film, plaques, and booklets. These objects allow the museum to tell the wider story of paper production in Montana.
Your support will help us preserve individual items and create safe spaces for important pieces of our past.