But the Upper Musselshell Museum -- spread out in two buildings -- sounded like a worthwhile field trip. So while I was in Harlowton on business I stopped in to see their latest exhibits, "heritage rooms" created by area residents from items that represent their families and ranches.
Harlowton is a small town, with a sadly almost-empty main street. Some businesses do thrive on Central Avenue, like the Snowy Mountain coffee shop, Passage Creek Design, and Mugsy's barber shop. A few miles north is a wind farm. Wind is a major crop in this flat land.
Inside the museum, I enjoyed exhibits showing arrowheads found in the area, old medical equipment used by a much-loved doctor, and military uniforms proudly worn by local veterans.
The museum is on the Montana Dinosaur Trail, so I spent a few minutes with the Avaceratops lammersi, a small horned dinosaur found on a ranch near Shawmut. In case you don't know, whoever finds a new dinosaur gets to name it. Ava was the wife of Eddy Cole, who discovered the fossil in 1981 on a ranch owned by the Lammers.
Just as interesting to me as the dinosaur were the things related to food. Near the bones, a popcorn popper from an old movie house and a peanut roasting machine from a long-gone drug store were on display.
Upstairs I found the heritage rooms so worth the trip. Following are some food-related photos, plus one of the model railroad (who doesn't love miniature trains?). If you squint and maybe stand on your head, you can see a wind turbine rising up behind the tracks to the left of the mountain, a tiny reproduction of the ones on the wind farm.
Upper Musselshell Museum
11 & 36 South Central
Open Memorial Day - Labor Day
Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday, 1 pm - 5 pm