The Montana Historical Society & Montana's Museum

Grey, windowed building with large trees and a sculpture of a skull in front of it.
The Montana Historical Society & Museum

"Montana Historical Society Museum" by J. Stephen Conn is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Quick Facts
Helena, MT

Benches/Seating, Entrance Passes for Sale, Gifts/Souvenirs/Books, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information - Ranger/Staff Member Present, Public Transit, Telephone, Ticket Sales, Toilet - Flush

Lewis and Clark NHT Visitor Centers and Museums

Visitor Centers (shown in orange), High Potential Historic Sites (shown in black), and Pivotal Places (shown in green) along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Originally founded in February, 1865 in the city of Bannack, Montana, the Montana Historical Society moved to its present location in Helena in 1874 and holds the honor of being of the the oldest such institutions in the American West. In 1891, the Montana State Legislature declared it a state agency. The society was originally overseen by a five-person Board of Trustees until 1949 when the Board was expanded to 15 members. The society received another prestigious honor when, in 1969, it officially became the state archives of Montana.  

The Montana Historical Society is dedicated to the promotion of an understanding and appreciation for Montana’s cultural heritage. In line with that mission, the society preserves artwork, artifacts, books, photographs, and various other pieces of Montana’s heritage. The society also preserves historically important buildings, as well.  

Visitors can see the society’s collections at Montana’s Museum, located just a short walk away from the Montana State Capitol. The museum houses over 50,000 artifacts, including pieces from the various Native American tribes that have resided in Montana. Permanent as well as temporary exhibits are available to museum-goers. For more information, visit or call (406) 444-2694. 

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: August 22, 2022