Join us at MSU Bobcat home football games!  Come by and visit us as we raise awareness about the exciting building site plans and the Museum Without Walls programming in development.  See our calendar page for the listing of home games.  

Rodeo season is heating up! If you are looking for a rodeo in your neck of the woods - you have found the right spot!  
Click Here for a full list of PRCA, Northern Rodeo Association and Elite Bullriders Association events.    

If you have an event that you would like posted to the Hall of Fame Event Calendar - Let us know!
If your looking to showcase your skills or looking for some great entertainment, don't miss this years Big Sky Roundup Ranch Rodeo in Great Falls on August 3rd!  This is a qualifying ranch rodeo for the NILE Ranch Rodeo Championship held in Billings in October.  

Pass forward the tradition!  See you in Great Falls August 3rd.
Big Sky Roundup Ranch Rodeo ENTRY FORM
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File Type: pdf
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Big Sky Roundup Ranch Rodeo RULES
File Size: 89 kb
File Type: pdf
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The MCHF & WHC is honored to announce our 2013 Board Officers.  

President - Bill Donald
First V.P. - Scott Olsen
Second V.P. - Mike Gurnett
Immediate Past President - DuWayne Wilson
Secretary - Ariel Overstreet
Treasurer - Mike O'Neill

We are also humbled to announce that Bill Davis of Sidney, MT; Sam Phares of Big Timber, MT; and Justin Todd of Big Timber, MT have been elected to the Board of Directors.  

Congratulations and a big thank you to this talented team for your leadership!  

This holiday season we invite you to make a difference.  By giving a Membership to the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame, you are extending a unique opportunity and making and important investment in our future.  

A gift Membership is a great way to introduce your family, friends and neighbors to the important work we do at the MCHF & WHC.  A gift Membership includes all rights and privileges of a traditional Membership.  This holiday season, when you gift a membership you may also choose from an MCHF Coffee Mug, Key Chain Light or Drink Koosies.  The items will be gift wrapped and mailed to the recipient in time for Christmas!  

Thank you considering giving Gift Memberships this holiday season!  Together we will make a difference!


PRESS RELEASE - August 1, 2012
Media Contacts: 
Christy Stensland, Executive Director, (406) 653-3800, CStensland@montanacowboyfame.com  
Aaron Lyles, Director of Finance, (406) 600-8231, ALyles@montanacowboyfame.com

Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame seeks nominations for Class of 2013

Big Timber - The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) is seeking nominations for the 2013 Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame induction round. In 2013, the MCHF & WHC will honor living and historical figures that have made notable contributions to Montana’s western heritage. 

“Our nomination process encourages people from across Montana to get involved,” said Christy Stensland, executive director of the MCHF & WHC. “Nominations are open to the public and can be made by anyone. We encourage all to reflect on those that have made notable contributions to our western heritage.” 

2013 will mark the third year the MCHF & WHC will honor living historical figures and the sixth year of honoring legacy (non-living) inductees. One living inductee and two legacy inductees from each of the MCHF & WHC’s 12 Trustee Districts will be chosen from votes cast by the MCHF & WHC Board of Trustees. Nominees are assigned to a Trustee District for consideration based on the area that their notable contributions were made. 

Nominees can be men, women, ranches, stage coach lines, animals, hotels, etc.—anyone or anything that has made a notable contribution to our Montana western heritage. A full listing of inductees from 2008-2012, the 2013 Nomination Form, and more about the Hall of Fame induction process can be found online athttp://www.montanacowboyfame.com or by calling the MCHF & WHC at (406) 653-3800. All nomination documents must be postmarked by February 22, 2013.

The 2013 Class of the MCHF & WHC will be announced by press release by May 15, 2013. Winning inductees will be honored at the 2014 Annual “Circle the Wagons Gathering.”

PRESS RELEASE - May 11, 2012

Media Contacts: 
Christy Stensland, Executive Director, (406) 653-3800,CStensland@montanacowboyfame.com  
Aaron Lyles, Director of Finance, (406) 600-8231,                 ALyles@montanacowboyfame.com

Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame announces 2012 inductions

Today the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) announced the fifth class of inductions into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. The inductees were chosen from candidates nominated by the public and Trustees of the MCHF & WHC that made a notable contribution to the history and culture of Montana through 1980, no matter the year of death or closure. Winners were selected by the MCHF & WHC Trustees. 

2012 is the second year that the MCHF has included a “Living” category in addition to the Legacy Award category. The Class of 2012 includes at least one inductee from each of 12 districts across the state. This year, 26 inductees were selected as Legacy Award recipients and 11 inductees were selected in the “Living” category.

The 2012 inductees into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame are:

>  District 1 (Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan, & Valley Counties): Living Award – Cliff Wolfe, Scobey. Legacy Award – Horace Dewitt Brewster,Southwest Phillips County; & Steve Marmon, Sr., Wolf Point.

>  District 2 (Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Prairie, Richland, & Wibaux Counties):Living Award – William James ‘Bill’ Brown, Jr., Sand Springs (nominated in Living Category but deceased 3/2/12). Legacy Award – Daniel Vincent Haughian, Terry; & Pierre Wibaux, Wibaux.

>  District 3 (Carter, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Rosebud, & Treasure Counties):  Living Award – C.M. Coffee, Miles City. Legacy Award – Range Riders Museum, Miles City; & Lynne Taylor, Miles City/Shepherd.

>  District 4 (Blaine, Choteau, Hill, & Liberty Counties): Living Award – Don Greytak, Havre. Legacy Award – Francis Bardanouve, Harlem; & Roscoe ‘Doc’ Timmons, Hill County.

>  District 5 (Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, & Toole Counties): Living Award– Fred Martin ‘Bud’ Connelly, Browning. Legacy Award – Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Smith Collins, Choteau; & Richard Carlisle ‘Dick’ Langley, Sun River/Great Falls.

>  District 6 (Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Petroleum, & Wheatland Counties): Legacy Award – (three-way tieAmbrose V. ‘Kid Amby’ Cheney, Stanford; Julia Loraine Jackson, Lewistown; & Utica’s Silver Dollar Saloon & Judith Hotel, Utica. 

>  District 7 (Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, & Yellowstone Counties): Living Award – Ben Steele, Billings. Legacy Award – J.K. Ralston, Billings; (two-way tieWilliam ‘Bill’ Linderman, Red Lodge; & Sam ‘Sarpy Sam’ McDowell, Hardin. 

>  District 8 (Broadwater, Jefferson, & Lewis and Clark Counties): Living Award– (two-way tieWalter Benjamin Holland, Helena; & Stan Lynde, Helena.Legacy Award – Kleffner Ranch, East Helena; & Henry Sieben, Wolf Creek.

>  District 9 (Gallatin, Meagher, & Park Counties): Living Award – William P. ‘Bill’ Loney, White Sulphur Springs. Legacy Award – Peter F. Karst, Gallatin Gateway & James W. ‘Cap’ Overstreet, Gallatin and Madison Counties.

>  District 10 (Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, & Sanders Counties): Legacy Award –Vern E. ‘Bud’ Cheff, Sr., Ronan.

>  District 11 (Mineral, Missoula, & Ravalli Counties): Living Award – Pete Sacks, Corvallis. Legacy Award – Irvin G. Wortman, Stevensville; (two-way tieArchie Lynn Joscelyn, Missoula; & Norman Maclean, Missoula.

>  District 12 (Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Granite, Madison, & Powell Counties): Living Award – Johnny France, Ennis. Legacy Award – Gertrude ‘Brownie’ Smith, Melrose; & Chief (Tin doi) Tendoy, Beaverhead River.

Since the initial round of inductions to the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008, including this year’s inductions, 147 historical figures have been honored as inductees. Full biographies for past inductees are available on the MCHF&WHC’s website, http://www.montanacowboyfame.com

At the end of April, the MCHF & WHC announced the culmination of its request for proposal process and the selection of Big Timber as the future building location for the organization’s headquarters. The MCHF & WHC will utilize the highly visible Stetson Building and surrounding land off I-90 for its campus. This site will serve as one of many ways the organization works to honor Montana’s cowboy way of life, American Indian cultures and the roots of Montana’s Western heritage. 

For more information about the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center, or for more details on the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees, please contact Christy Stensland by calling (406) 653-3800, emailingcstensland@montanacowboyfame.com, or visitinghttp://www.montanacowboyfame.com.


PRESS RELEASE - April 30, 2012

Contact: Aaron Lyles, Director of Finance, (406) 600-8231 ALyles@montanacowboyfame.com

Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center announces winning building site

Sixty-plus years after State Senator Leo Cremer of Sweet Grass County proposed the need for Montana to build a cowboy hall of fame; this vision took major steps towards becoming reality as the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) announces that it has completed its ten-month long building site selection process. Big Timber has been selected as the new home and building site of the MCHF & WHC.

Through a request for proposals process, an evaluation committee, made up of MCHF &WHC board members, selected finalist communities based on the infrastructure and capacity to sustainably operate a visitor attraction. In the final phase of the process, the committee evaluated the specific building site proposals offered by Big Sky, Big Timber, Livingston and Madison County. 

“As we concluded our process, the important factors of sustainability, working with Montana’s tourism infrastructure, and the overall cost for development of the project played an important role in Big Timber’s selection,” said DuWayne Wilson, MCHF & WHC president. “The Stetson building is highly visible and centrally located on I-90. All of the necessary infrastructure is fully developed at the site, while the building itself is simply an open shell that we can incorporate our exhibition plan into. In all, this unique package has been offered at an extraordinary cost savings over what it would otherwise cost to implement at any other site. Additionally, the contract terms gave us greater flexibility than some of the other property offers.”

“We had a tough decision with fantastic proposals from Big Sky, Livingston, and Madison County,” Wilson said. “Every finalist had some quality that ranked higher than their peers. In the end, it was our responsibility to make the best business decision we could and we could only choose one. We want to express our deep appreciation to the community leaders who put forward an exceptional effort and demonstrated themselves as true ambassadors for their communities. It made our decision that much harder.”

With the site selection process completed, the focus of the MCHF & WHC will be implementing a capital fundraising campaign to move forward with developing the campus in Big Timber. 

“We have a clear line of sight for success,” said Mike Gurnett, MCHF & WHC board member. “This is truly a project whose time has come. With this great central I-90 location, I can envision the parking lot filled with school buses from across the state as students explore Montana’s Western Heritage. The timing could not be better for people to step forward with financial support and artifact donations to keep us moving forward to achieving our goals to celebrate what makes Montana so great.” 

Background information:

Under a 2003 Montana legislative effort, Wolf Point was identified to be the future building site for the MCHF & WHC. With the mission of “honoring our cowboy way of life, American Indian cultures, and collective Montana Western heritage,” the organization has been greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm from all corners of the state. After successfully organizing a statewide network of Trustees and implementing the annual Hall of Fame inductions, the organization set its sights on the development of its future museum and visitor center attraction. As interested donors watched other state-wide museums and non-profits struggle under the crippling economic downturn, donor concerns quickly rose regarding the feasibility and sustainability of such a facility, given the planned location’s distance from major tourism and interstate corridors. To address these concerns, the membership, Board of Trustee’s and Board of Directors unanimously voted to pursue a legislative revision which would allow them to study the feasibility of any building location throughout the state and to invite all interested communities to express their interest. House Bill 528 was signed into law in April of 2011 and efforts began to organize a request for proposal process that would objectively evaluate offered building sites. 

The request for proposals was developed under the advisement of special taskforce of top industry experts from across the state and the nation. The resulting request for proposals was implemented in three phases. Phase one consisted of an open invitation to all Montana communities to express their interest in being considered. In phase two, all interested communities were asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire to study, in detail, issues such as community infrastructure and those factors essential to operating the visitor destination attraction business. These submissions were evaluated under a standardized scoring system that resulted in a field of finalists to participate in the third and final phase. Finalists worked in the third phase to identify specific building sites within their community and to bring forward community resources.

PRESS RELEASE - November 4, 2011

Media Contacts: 
Christy Stensland, Executive Director, (406) 653-3800,CStensland@montanacowboyfame.com  
Aaron Lyles, Director of Finance, (406) 600-8231,ALyles@montanacowboyfame.com

Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame Names Building Site Finalists

After an extensive review of proposals, the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) is one more step closer to construction by announcing the field of communities to continue into the third and final phase of the organization’s building site selection process. The review of nearly 2,500 pages of submitted proposal materials from 10 Montana communities was conducted by the MCHF & WHC Board of Directors, the MCHF & WHC’s preliminary architect, Scott Cromwell of Helena, Mont., and the nationally recognized non-profit consulting firm Martz and Lundy. Taking into consideration those factors essential to developing and sustaining a premier museum destination attraction, the MCHF & WHC Board of Directors is pleased to invite the following communities into the third and final selection phase: Big Sky, Big Timber, Livingston, Madison County, Miles City and Wolf Point. 

In the third phase, interviews will be conducted in each finalist community to fully investigate the physical building sites that have been presented in each proposal. This phase will also include negotiations with prospective donors in the community, region and around the nation, to determine the ultimate financial feasibility and degree of support that exists for each location. 

“Each community that submitted a proposal did so with the belief that they were the best future building site for the Hall of Fame and they each had something excellent to offer unique to their community,” said DuWayne Wilson, MCHF & WHC President. “Every proposal submitted was exceptional and collectively reinforced the statewide interest in the cultural facility becoming a reality. Respondents rallied around their great love and pride for the towns in which they live and the state they each call home. The amount of sincere effort put into each proposal was truly humbling.” 

Since the beginning of the RFP process, the MCHF & WHC has strongly held that no community has the exclusive rights to Montana’s collective western heritage. For this reason, the decision of which communities to investigate further was based on factors such as financial feasibility, volume of resident and non-resident visitation, characteristics of the proposed physical building sites, and infrastructure available within the community to support a major development project of this nature.

The MCHF & WHC plans to announce the winning site at the end of November; however, the timeframe for the final announcement will largely depend on scheduling availability with each community and the pace of negotiations with landowners and prospective donors. 

“This is truly an idea for which the time has come,” said MCHF & WHC Board Member Mike Gurnett. “Each day we lose a little bit more of our rich Montana cultural heritage to the passing of time. How many of us regret not having captured the many colorful stories of our grandparents, friends and neighbors before we lost them forever? This is capturing our history on a statewide stage and making it relevant to people’s lives. Equally important will be taking the cultural story of Montana and creating a vibrant, interactive resource for all visitors to contribute to and draw from. There is no more important stewardship decision we will make during our tenure as board members than the selection of our future building site. It will serve an important role as a learning center and resource to all Montanans interested in preserving and passing forward their heritage.”