Paugh Regional History Hall

Regional artifacts illuminate lives before ours

Showcasing MOR’s founding collection of regional artifacts originally donated in 1957 by our founder, Dr. Caroline McGill, the History Hall shares the compelling stories that connect us with the Northern Rocky Mountains, illuminating our own lives and those lived before us. From early exploration through World War II, this exhibition depicts the cultural and social changes experienced by those who called this region home, including Native Americans, fur traders, gold seekers and white settlers.
Historic artifacts, photographic wall murals and pieces from the Museum’s extensive textile collection will add to your understanding of Montana’s past and the larger forces that shaped the nation.

Included in the History Halls are the stories celebrating the Museum's own history from its beginnings in a couple of Quonset huts on the MSU campus to the world-class institution we enjoy today.

The Enduring Peoples exhibit is part of the regional history collection and can be found between the Dinosaur Complex and the History Hall. This exhibit examines the life and culture of American Indians living on the Northern Plains and near the Rocky Mountains. The stories illustrate how American Indians have retained their cultural identities despite the great challenges.

Visitors will see artifacts from native tribes in Montana and the region and learn how the native landscape and people were changed forever with the introduction of Euro-Americans to the area.

Traditionally these peoples followed the vast herds of bison that once covered the region. As Euro-Americans moved onto the lands that American Indians had lived on for generations, conflicts became inevitable. Ultimately, the American Indians of the region were forced onto small areas of land that they reserved for themselves in their negotiations with the government of the United States. American Indians continue to preserve many of their traditions through ceremonies, religious rituals, languages and stories.

Exhibit Details

Exhibit Dates:

Permanent Exhibit


Paugh History Hall


Included with admission