Cynthia St. Charles Store

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Charles M. Bair Family Museum

Martisdale, Montana
Charles Bair came to Montana in 1883 as a conductor on the Northern Pacific Railroad. At the time, he had only 14 cents and 7 green apples in his pocket. He made his fortune in Alaska by investing in a ground thawing device. He poured his earnings into oil, mining, and real estate. He had one of the world's largest sheep ranches - based here in Martinsdale, Montana (about 120 miles from Billings) - running up to 300,000 head of sheep. Later in life, the family made a home in Martinsdale, and this is the location of the Charles M. Bair Family Museum. All family members have passed away now, but the ranch continues to fund the Bair Family philanthropies, including this museum.

The family collected a lot of art over the years, and in June 2011, this state of the art museum opened - designed to showcase the family art collection.
According to our tour guide, at one time - most of the priceless art was stored in this root cellar!
This old sheep wagon was set up on the museum grounds. I found it surprisingly similar to the one my uncle had for his sheep herder back in the 1960's. I am not sure what accommodations my uncle has for the sheep herder nowadays.

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