“God created man, but the Colt made him equal” is the title on one exhibit case in Frontier Montana Museum. This is the largest collection of handguns, spurs, chaps and all the cowboy collectibles between Cody and Calgary. Old Desert John’s Saloon treats visitors to the most complete whiskey memorabilia collection in the United States. Housed in the Old Montana Prison Mule Barn, these exhibits shine in the ambiance of end-grain wood block floors and real tin ceilings.
What can one say about a museum that displays the items actually used by the American cowboy, rancher, frontiersman and women during the opening and growth of the American West. The items on display are the real items used during the period of 1829 to 1900, not the props seen in the western movies.
There are over 300 handguns and rifles on display. Some people look at guns as a weapon of destruction. In actuality, the gun is an engineering marvel and in some cases a work of art.
During the 1829 to 1900 period, there were over 10,000 gun dealers and manufacturers in the United States including the father of interchangeable parts, Eli Whitney. When one thinks of guns, it brings to mind the romantic famous or infamous individuals of the American West, i.e. Jessie James, Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, and may others.
In addition, the museum displays hats, a large spur collection, many varieties of chaps used on the frontier, horse bits, saddles, – those items a cowboy took pride in owning, and in many cases, the only items he owned.
What would the growth of the American West be without representation of the Native American, the Plains Indians, The Sioux – a French word for fierce warrior, the Cheyenne, and other tribes. There is a representative collection of bead work, animal skin clothing, weapons and more of the Native Americans.
The items on display represent Don Cappa’s lifetime collection. So, come see us at the Frontier Montana Museum in Deer Lodge, Montana and relive the west as it was!!