Lewistown is an agricultural community located
at the geographic center of Montana in the vast Judith Basin. Lewistown
began as a small trading post on the Carroll Trail between Helena
and the mouth of the Mussellshell River. The Croatians from Bribir
near the Adriatic did much of the town’s stonework and the high quality
interiors of the buildings were crafted by Norwegian and other highly
skilled workers. Together, they add a distinctive, lasting imprint
on the beauty of the town. The town features many well-preserved historic
businesses and homes. Nearby is the old mining town of Maiden.
Although mostly rolling prairie, farms, and ranches, the Lewistown area features two beautiful mountain ranges, the Snowy and Judith at an elevation of 3,963 feet. From there, grand 100-mile vistas stretch out below. Picturesque landscapes, mountain terrain, and small quiet towns typify the area.
Today, Lewistown is surrounded by large cattle ranches and wheat farms and is still a major trading center. Travel over three 150-foot-high trestles and through a half-mile tunnel on the former Milwaukee Railroad Line on the Charlie Russell Chew-Choo (800-735-7886). You will see 30 miles of scenic landscape that inspired Montana’s renowned Western artist Charlie Russell. Full course prime rib dinner and superb Western hospitality included.
Stories of the famous Charlie Russell, Granville Stuart, James Fergus and Teddy Blue Abbott come alive at the Central Montana Historical Society Museum. The rich history of central Montana includes the notorious Vigilante Raids of 1884 and the killing of Rattlesnake Jake on July 4, 1884. There are many pictures and mementoes of early ranchers, homesteaders, and miners.
Two historic buildings were combined to create the Lewistown Art Center. The center houses three galleries, educational classrooms and the signature shop for sale of consignment art from area artists. The exhibits rotate monthly. The center also sponsors a variety of quality performing arts throughout the year.