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Montana Towns: Then, Now, Tomorrow


with Hal Stearns

historian, storyteller, guide

Montana is a state of extremes, from high mountains to great plains. Half the population lives in just five communities and another third of residents lives in just ten others. After the big ones, the remaining 134 incorporated towns are often unique, often overlooked, and all small, yet personify so much of the Big Sky. These small towns were built around gold, coal and oil, timber, cows and sheep, early trails, roads and rails. But time brings change. Why do some smaller towns hang in while others drift away? A few invent new roles and others reinvent themselves. Should we care? A discussion helps us understand the small places that are a big part of the Montana story.