1. When Great Falls High School was built in the 1890s, herds of sheep were used to compact the earth around the foundation.
2. In 1903 the Bozeman Carnegie Library was (intentionally!) built across the street from the red-light district and opium dens.
3. You’ve probably seen the Gideon Bible inside the nightstand drawer of your hotel room. That trend originated in Montana.
The first placement was made by Archie Bailey at the Superior Hotel.
4. One of the toughest women in history lived in Montana in the 1800s.
Mary Fields was born into slavery in 1832 and was described as a “tart-tongued, gun-toting, hard drinking, cigar and pipe smoking, 6 foot tall, 200 pound black woman who was tough enough to take on any two men.” She would later become known as Stagecoach Mary.
5. Virginia City was our original state capital. In 1875, the capital city was moved to Helena.
6. We all know it gets cold in Montana. But it got REALLY cold in 1954.
On January 20, 1954, the lowest recorded temperature was -70 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Our state also holds the record for the largest snowflake ever observed.
On January 28, 1887, a snowflake was measured at 38 cm, or almost 15 inches.
8. In 1867 the US Congress annulled all legislation passed by the second and third assemblies of the Montana territory, which was an unprecedented act in American history.
We’ve always been rebels.
9. In 1892, Walter H. Peck established a post office on his ranch, requesting the name “Ray” in honor of a relative. Someone in Washington D.C. misread the application and returned it with the name “Roy.”
And that’s how Roy, Montana was named.
10. Montana certainly has had its share of strong women. Helena’s Chicago Joe, a clever business woman and madame, established Helena’s first “house of ill repute” at the age of 23.
Chicago Joe managed to evade all attempts to destroy her business. She remained a professional success until the economic collapse of the 1890s.