Headwaters Heritage Museum


The Headwaters Heritage Museum will be open for the Christmas Stroll scheduled for December 2nd. While the museum is open, it is a great time to purchase items from the Gift Shop, including the newly released Selected Papers of 2010 Fur Trade Symposium at the Three Forks, published by the Three Forks Area Historical Society.

Local Historian Patrick Finnegan will give a presentation on Danger Lights, a 1930 movie that involved several locals in the making. The presentation followed by the movie will be held November 12, 1 PM at the Methodist Church Annex. A fundraiser for the Depot Defenders, admission is $5 per single or family, popcorn and refreshments available for purchase.

November 2011

The Depot Defenders have applied for three grants and been turned down by two. Society members consider getting a loan to get the foundation under the Depot.

September 2011

The Depot Defender Ice Cream Social was a big success, bringing in over $1800.

August 2011

Larry Wilcox and crew poured the footings under the depot. Quite a job. Thanks to everyone that helped, including Chris Lien and his folks from the Three Forks Ready Mix and Lumber!

July 2011

The Trident Depot was moved!

April 2011

It was a busy month for the Society. The "Selected Papers from 2010 Fur Trade Symposium at the Three Forks" arrived in late April and we are getting the books sent out to those who pre-ordered.

During the Annual Montana Horses drive down Main Street Three Forks, the Society held a bake sale and it was a huge success. The event garnering funds for the Depot Defender in excess of $1,800 in bake good sales, t-shirt sales, memorials and donations.

And finally, the roof repairs are complete. Lifetime Roofs did a great job for us, not only putting on the new roof liner, but also capping the brick walls and installing a new drain pipe with heat-tape.

March 2011
Memorial brick sales have started as a fundraiser for the Depot Defender project. Work is underway in moving the depot and the Society has already acquired several items from the interior of the depot.

January and February 2011

A series of meetings has started the Society on a path to save the Trident depot with a plan to move it into Three Forks to be used as an auxillary to the Headwaters Heritage Museum. Be a Depot Defender

December 2010

The Headwaters Heritage Museum was open during the Christmas Stroll on Friday, December 3rd and the Society hosted a large number of Christmas Strollers and handed out about 225 hand-made stockings. The annual Christmas Party held December 9th was another fun and successful pot luck dinner followed by the free-for-all "white elephant" dice game.

The Society learned that Montana Rail Link has postponed the demolition of the Trident depot , giving us time to assess the cost of moving the depot into Three Forks to be used for expanding the museum. Between now and January 2011, the Society will be looking for estimates to move the building and financing such a project.

The Society has engaged Tin Works, Inc. to cap the north and west walls of the museum to help reduce seepage into the mortar that is causing it to crumble and weaken the walls.

The Society mourns the loss of Society members who have recently passed away; Gary McLees, Ted Schlepp, and Norma Miller.

Wayne Johnson is looking for information regarding depots and other buildings near the railroad tracks in Willow Creek. Jack Noble is looking for a paid research assistant to gather information regarding his father Charles Noble in the Great Falls and Willow Creek areas
To assist in the above requests, contact the Three Forks Area Historical Society

After months of planning, the 2010 Fur Trade Symposium was a huge success. Many thanks to the patrons, speakers, volunteers and attendees. Copies of the proceedings will be out in February 2011. Download the order form here.

August 2010
Eric Jay Dolan's presentation on his new book, Fur, Fortune, and Empire, on August 11 was a great success. More than 50 folks enjoyed the pot luck dinner followed by Eric's interesting and informative presentation. Signed copies of Mr. Dolan's book are on sale at the Headwaters Heritage Museum gift shop.

July 2010

We Won! The Historical Society float took the blue ribbon at the Three Forks Rodeo parade where the theme for the parade was My Hometown. We put together a Fort Three Forks with cardboard and duct tape to depict the fort built in 1810 by the St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. Not only did the float show our hometown spirit, but it helped us advertise for the 2010 Fur Trade Symposium!

Bad News - The Historical Society met on July 1 and heard a startling pronouncement from local contractor Jim Aughney.

June 2010
The Headwaters Heritage Museum opened for the season on June 1.

May 2010
The Volunteer Orientation was well attended and Clay Landry's overview of the history of the fur trade era prepared the museum hosts and hostesses for the upcoming season, especially for answering questions regarding September's Fur Trade Symposium.

At the May 6 meeting, the Society learned that two nearby state parks are in danger. The Parker Homestead Park is now longer supported by the Montana FWP. The lease for the property expired January 1, 2010 and was not renewed. State budget woes and neighboring land use issues (a shooting range) were cited among the reasons for non-renewal.

Madison Buffalo Jump has financial woes too. The School Fund Trust, which has owned the land since a land swap 40+ years ago, is looking to collect lease fees from MT FWP. No lease to MT FWP was created when the park was created and now the School Trust Fund is considering charging FWP for back rent.

Contact Us
Ph (during hours) 406-285-4778
Ph (off season) 406-285-3644
Headwaters Heritage Museum
PO Box 116
Three Forks, MT 59752