Presentations I Offer

I am available to speak on the topics listed below under the auspices of the Gallatin History Museum. There is no fee for presentations inside Gallatin County; however, for other locations small fees may be charged to cover costs.

Presentations generally run about one hour including time for comments and questions. They are accompanied by slide shows.

If you’re interested, please contact Rachel Phillips at the Museum to make arrangements:  (406) 522-8122

Yellowstone Presentations

• “Sidesaddles and Geysers,” Stories of women who braved Indian attacks, geyser scalds, and bear maulings to see the wonders of Yellowstone Park in the Nineteenth Century.

• “Mountain Men Discover Wonderland,” History and Stories of the first Euro-Americans to see the wonders of the area that became Yellowstone National Park.

• “An Ursine History of Yellowstone Park,” Descriptions of how humans and bears interacted in Yellowstone Park from the mountain man era (hunting for meat) through early settlement (hunting for sport) to today (hunting with cameras).”

• “Fun With Hot Springs and Geysers,” Stories of Yellowstone tourists dumping rubble into Old Faithful to see what would happen, cooking fish live on the hook in hot springs, and soaping geysers to force them to play.

• “Indian Trouble in Yellowstone Park,” Tourists tangle with the Nez Perce who are fleeing just ahead of a pursuing army in 1877.

Montana History Presentations:

• “The Montana Gin Marriage Law,” The unintended consequences of a eugenics laws passed by the Montana Legislature that made it impossible to get a marriage license in the summer of 1935.

• “The Montana Pioneer Who Defended the Monster of Andersonville,” The story of James Madison Page who was almost thrown out of the Grand Army of the Republic for writing a book that said there was no intentional cruelty at the notorious Confederate prisons where thousands of Union soldiers died.

• “Tales of the Belgrade Bull,” How the son of a Montana milk cow won national fame in the 1890s by throwing every cowboy who tried to ride him —  and the controversies about men who claimed to have stayed on board.

• “Steamboats Above the Great Falls,” The three paddle wheelers that plied the upper Missouri in the 1880s and the ill-fated maiden trip of the Fern, the only steamer built in Montana, that battled downriver from Townsend to Great Falls.

• Yankee Jim Tangles with Rudyard Kipling,” The toll road collector in the canyon that still bears his name hosted the famous author when he visited Yellowstone Park in 1889. Things didn’t go well. Kipling admitted he was no match for Yankee Jim when the pair traded tall tales. Yankee Jim didn’t like what “The Little Englishman” said about him in a book about his travels.

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