Picture
     The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) announced today a $100,000 challenge gift made by Klein and Karen Gilhousen of Copper Spring Ranch. The gift kicks off the Founders phase of the MCHF & WHC Homesteaders Campaign. 

     The Homesteaders Campaign will fund the construction and endowment of the hall of fame’s cultural education center.  As the statewide headquarters for the MCHF & WHC’s educational programing, the center will inspire future generations through the examples of those that have contributed to our rich cultural heritage. 

      “We understand the importance of creating momentum to launch a fund raising campaign,” said Karen Gilhousen.  “We are excited to realize the building of this center as a tribute to those that have come before us and as a resource to the next generation as it carries on the great traditions of our Montana way of life.” 

     “History often overlooks the hardworking members of our communities who have selflessly contributed to the day-to-day improvement of our hometowns while providing leadership for the next generation,” said Director of Finance Aaron Lyles.  “The hall of fame exists most notably to celebrate and pass forward these examples of leadership.”

     Board member Mike Gurnett observed, “This is truly an idea for which the time has come.  Each day we lose more of our heritage and it is our responsibility to act now.  How many of us regret not capturing the stories of our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors before they were lost forever?”

     Officially designated by Montana state legislature, the MCHF & WHC is a 501c3 non-profit organization.  Having selected the strategic location of Big Timber Montana for its building site, organizers have worked with nationally renowned firms Storyline Studio and ConsultEcon to complete the exhibition design and operations planning for the center.  The announcement of the Homesteaders Campaign marks an important milestone for the organization as it works to realize its vision of building Montana’s premier western heritage destination attraction.

     Gilhousen adds, “It is our hope that this initial challenge encourages others to become examples of leadership, and to inspire those who cherish our Montana way of life to invest in the promise it holds for the next generation.”

     For more information about the Homesteaders Campaign and the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center, visit www.MontanaCowboyFame.org or contact Aaron Lyles, Director of Finance at (406) 600-8231    

 
 
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!  


     
 
 
Picture
 
 
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 - 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.”

 

October 05th, 2011

10/05/2011

 
PRESS RELEASE - October 5, 2011

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

MCHF & WHC ONE STEP CLOSER TO DECISION ON FUTURE BUILDING SITE

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) Board of Directors was pleased to announce today the list of respondents that have submitted proposals to “Phase Two” of a three phase Request For Proposals selection process that will decide the organization’s future building site.  

Proposals have been submitted from:  Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation, Terry;  Madison County Economic Development Corporation, Madison County; Miles City Chamber of Commerce, Miles City ; Missouri Valley Development Corporation, Wolf Point; Montana Event Center, Huntley; Musselshell County Commissioners, Roundup; Park County Extension Service, Livingston; PhillCo Economic Growth Council, Malta; Ryan Hamilton on behalf of the Community of Big Sky; and Sweet Grass County Commissioners, Big Timber.   

The Request for Proposals Evaluation Committee will now take up the task of evaluating each proposal response against a standard set of criteria.  From this evaluation the MCHF & WHC Board will announce a field of finalists to be considered in the third and final phase of the selection process.  Each proposal will also be evaluated by an independent evaluator with expertise in non-profit administration and museum operations.  The third phase will include interviews and comprehensive negotiations with each of the finalist candidates.  The Board of Directors currently plans to announce the awarding of the future building site by the end of November.  

Directed by the organization’s vision to develop a facility that will serve as a “premier destination attraction that honors and celebrates Montana's unique western culture and heritage,” the MCHF & WHC has taken on the ambitious effort to move forward with development of the facility despite the economic downturn that has slowed or stopped many other major development projects.  Christy Stensland, MCHF & WHC executive director stated, “The support and sense of urgency that many feel about the need to capture our heritage before it is lost and to pass it forward to future generations has driven us to move forward with the project.  This site selection request for proposals process is an incredible undertaking for everyone involved.  It is humbling to see folks from all corners of the state join together and rally around the important task of honoring our cowboy way of life, American Indian cultures and our collective Montana Western heritage.”  

With the passage of H.B 528 in April, the Board of Directors moved to open the opportunity of being considered as the future building site of the MCHF & WHC to all Montana communities.  Aaron Lyles, MCHF & WHC director of finance stated, “The decision of issuing the request for proposals and allowing any interested community the opportunity to be considered was the best approach and most objective way to select our future building site.  The selection process requires the highest standards of transparency to meet the expectations of the public trust we operate under.”  The Board of Directors chose a traditional Request For Proposals process to administer the site selection.  Therefore, the organization could not comment at this time on any one community’s prospects or standing in the evaluation process. The organization will announce the finalist candidates upon the completion of the Phase Two evaluation.  Lyles continued, “Since no community can claim exclusive rights to our collective Montana Western heritage, this selection process had to be focused on an objective alignment of the resources necessary for accomplishing our vision and mission to those communities that have expressed a desire to be considered.  Though each community is anxiously waiting the final decision, it is clear after seeing the hundreds of letters of support that have poured into our office that no matter the final location our Montana community is behind the project.”

 
 
PRESS RELEASE - August 13, 2011

2011 Custer Ranch Rodeo Results

Contact:  Tami Blake, Custer Ranch Rodeo organizer, 406-342-5579,theblakes@rangeweb.net
               Christy Stensland, Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame executive director, 406-653-3800, cstensland@montanacowboyfame.com


The 2011 Custer Ranch Rodeo, held in June in Custer, raised $1,952.50 for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame.  Each year the ranch rodeo makes a donation to the MCHF (a nonprofit dedicated to preserving our state’s great cowboy heritage), made up of a percentage of calcutta income, entry fees, and sponsorship monies.

Reflecting modern-day ranch reality, each team at the Custer Ranch Rodeo is required to have at least one female member.  Custer is also unique in that each team rides for a sponsoring business that is supporting both the MCHF and the participants.

The BLS Horse Sales / Montana ProRodeo Hall & Wall of Fame team finished first this year.  Members were KC Verhelst, Jolee and Kelly Holmquist, and Caleb Scott.  This team will advance to the NILE Championship Ranch Rodeo in October.

The MCHF Trustees team finished second.  Members were Pat O’Neill, Sam Kortum, Zane Dempewolf, and Dan Harrington.  Dempewolf, of Glendive, won the handiest cowboy award.  Rachel Lohof, competing on the Junction City Saloon team, was named handiest cowgirl.  Blaine Tucker, competing on the Montana Cattlemen’s Association team, took home the top horse award.

Other competing teams were sponsored by Northern Ag Network, Hardin community businesses, Custer community businesses, PV Ranch, Cat Coulee Beds & Birds, Stockman Bank and the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Montana Ranch Horse Association, and Grasslands LLC.

Nearly everything needed to make the Custer Ranch Rodeo run is donated.  Special thanks go to Swanke Saddlery, Allison Saddlery, H-Bar Hatworks, Newman Rodeo, Farmers Union Oil, John Pinkerton, and the many volunteers who made this benefit event possible.

The Custer Ranch Rodeo is also dedicated to benefiting the Custer community.  The Custer FFA serves concessions, an after-event is held in downtown Custer, free events for kids are included in the program (with awards donated by the Jeff & Corinna Keller family), and the ranch rodeo committee donates profits to the improvement of the Custer arena.

 
 
PRESS RELEASE - July 23, 2011

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

MT Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center Building Site Identification RFP Invitation Update.  

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) would like to remind all interested Montana communities that the Request For Proposal Invitation Response deadline for your community to request a copy of the Request For Proposal documents to be considered for the future building site of the MCHF & WHC is July 29th, 2011.  The MCHF & WHC has updated its website to include answers to questions that have been offered to the organization to date.  All interested parties should go to http://www.montanacowboyfame.comfor all RFP related information and materials.  A list of those entities that have responded to the RFP Invitation and the status of their respective RFP Invitation Responses to date, is published on the website.  

If you would like your community considered as the future building site of the MCHF & WHC, please review the RFP Invitation and coordinate your community’s response as directed.  

For more information, please contact Executive Director, Christy Stensland at the MCHF & WHC office in Wolf Point at the MCHF & WHC office in Wolf Point at (406) 653-3800 or at CStensland@montanacowboyfame.com, or visit http://www.montanacowboyfame.com.

 
 
PRESS RELEASE - July 15, 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 seeks nominations for Class of 2012 

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) is seeking nominations for the 2012 Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame induction round. In 2012, the MCHF & WHC will honor inductees who made their mark in Montana between 1880 and 1980, no matter the year of death or closure. Nominees can be men, women, ranches, stage coach lines, animals, hotels, etc.—anyone or anything that has made an impact on Montana’s western heritage.

Past inductees have included historical figures such as Sitting Bull, Evelyn Cameron, the N Bar N Ranch, Charles M. Russell, Plenty Coups, Granville Stuart, Nelson Story, the Grant-Kohrs Ranch, Alice Greenough, the Montana Stockgrowers Association, Fannie Sperry Steele, Frank Bird Linderman and the Vigilantes of Montana. Full biographies of all inductees from 2008-2010 are available online at http://www.montanacowboyfame.com (2011 inductee bios coming soon). 

An unlimited number of nominations may be submitted from each of the MCHF & WHC’s 12 state-wide districts of which one living inductee and two legacy (non-living) inductees will be chosen from votes cast by the MCHF & WHC Trustees. (Visit the MCHF & WHC website for a list of the Trustees and a map of the twelve districts of the MCHF & WHC.) This is the second year the MCHF & WHC will induct living historical figures and the fifth year of honoring legacy inductees.

Anyone with an interest in Montana’s history and Western heritage is invited to submit a nomination. Requirements include a cover letter with details about the nominee, the submitter, and a contact person or next of kin for the nominee; a two-page-or-less computer generated document detailing the nominee’s background and contributions to Montana’s western heritage (in hard copy and CD copy); and a copy-ready photo if available. Please contact the MCHF & WHC at (406) 653-3800 for full details about submission requirements. All nomination documents must be postmarked by December 15, 2011. 

The 2012 Class of the MCHF & WHC will be announced by press release in June of 2012. Next of kin or an establishment representing the award recipient will receive a MCHF & WHC certificate and will be invited to be recognized at the 2013 Annual “Circle the Wagons” Gathering.