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Gallatin History Museum Lecture | He Might Strike it Still: A Brief History of Cooke City

Join MOR and the Gallatin History Museum for monthly lectures focused on the dynamic and lively history of the Gallatin Valley.

With claims staked, 1870s prospectors at Cooke City patiently waited for adequate transportation to get their ore to market. Eager enough, they named the town in honor of Northern Pacific tycoon Jay Cooke. Ironically, Cooke's influence in creating Yellowstone National Park stunted the growth of the town, as the park blocked any efforts to support a railroad through its borders. For more than sixty years, residents waited for rail until a new economy took hold--tourism. The dreams of the miners still live on in tumble-down shacks and rusty old mining equipment. And the successful vision of entrepreneurs offering rustic relaxation at the doorstep of Yellowstone continues to lure visitors. Historian Kelly Hartman recounts the saga that left hundreds battling for a railroad that never came.

Kelly S. Hartman was raised in Silver Gate, Montana attending K-8 grade at the one-room schoolhouse in Cooke City. She received her AA in art at Northwest Community College, Powell, Wyoming, and her BFA in painting from Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon. She was the director of the Cooke City Montana Museum from 2014 to 2016, which included its grand opening. In the summer of 2016, she began work as the curator of the Gallatin History Museum in Bozeman, Montana.

All lectures have a limited capacity and are open on a first-come, first-served basis.  Doors open 30 minutes prior to each lecture. Attendees may not save seats for others.