Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation

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Deer Lodge History


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The Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation is a local non-profit membership organization which operates the Old Montana Prison as a Museum. As the Old Prison Complex contains buildings located on three blocks outside the Old Prison walls, other collections have been brought in to fill four museums.

PCMAF has a 99 year lease on the Old Prison from the State of Montana, but operates without any state or federal funding. The principal source of funding is through gate receipts and fundraisers such as the classic car raffle.

Our Mission: To preserve, protect and present elements of local and regional history and culture.

To be a repository for the history and life of Deer Lodge, Powell County and the State of Montana including but not exclusive to, historic buildings, photographic records, and/or artifacts for preservation, representing the past, present, and future.

To present and educate the members and the public to the significance of the items and artifacts in the repository of the Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation, and to advance this and other educational programs.

Prelude: The mining heritage is rich in Gold West Country, but the area around Deer Lodge was settled by ranchers. As the fur trade was dying out in the 1840s, an active livestock trade was founded along the Oregon Trail near here and led to the settlement of the Deer Lodge valley. The first territorial prison was eventually built in Deer Lodge where Montana's worst criminals were sent on a permanent vacation. Today, Deer Lodge has a plentiful supply of unusual historic attractions from the prison museums to the only U.S. National Historic Site that is also a working cattle ranch.

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site

MUSEUM
OPENING TIMES

OPEN DAILY
10 am till 4 pm

2013 Raffle Car
THE WINNER IS...
Online Gift Shop!
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Cars For Sale!

Museum Membership
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Prison Self-Guided Tour Book
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Fun Gift Idea's From The Old Montana Prison
Haunted Prison?
Filming in our Prison?
Guided Prison Tour's Are Available For Your Group!

Historic Landmark Burns In Deer Lodge

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