Western Heritage Center

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Parking garage’s huge mural will depict Billings’ history


Brushstroke by brushstroke, Terri Porta is telling the history of Billings on an enormous downtown canvas. That canvas is made up of the walls and ceiling at the entrance to the City Hall parking garage on Second Avenue North. Porta started working on the huge mural on May 7 and plans to finish up by the end summer, when she will have left her mark on an estimated 4,600 square feet of wall and ceiling space. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Western Heritage Center kicks off new High Noon series


The Western Heritage Center will open its 2018 High Noon program series on Thursday, March 15, with a panel discussion commemorating the 60th anniversary of KULR8 TV. The free program will start at noon at the Western Heritage Center, 2822 Montana Ave. Starting as KGHL-TV in 1958, the station’s call letters switched to KULR-TV in 1963. KULR-8 joined KOOK-TV (now KTVQ) to offer a two-station market in Billings during the 1960s and 1970s. The presentation, hosted byLynne Turner-Fitzgerald, will explore the changing world of television from the perspective of those working at the station, with panelists Chris Byers, Becky Hiller, Greg LaMotte and Virginia Smith. Continue Reading →

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Speaker sketches history of Latinos in U.S., Montana


Don’t blame Bridget Kevane if her talk on “Latino America, Latino Montana” was a little short on details. Kevane, associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Letters and Science at Montana State University, addressed her very broad topic in just over an hour Thursday as part of the High Noon lecture series at the Western Heritage Center in downtown Billings. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Historian takes close look at ‘dirty time’ in Billings’ history


Just shy of 100 years ago, unpatriotic “slackers” in Billings were put on notice. It was reported in the Oct. 26, 1917, edition of the Billings Evening Journal that residents who refused to buy war bonds — and those who seemed to have “undersubscribed,” given their incomes and assets — would soon be punished. (more…) Continue Reading →

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True story, Montana setting inspire children’s book


Some 15 years ago, Lynda Bourque Moss’s friends in the Paradise Valley told her of an adventure involving their dog, Nubbin, and their pygmy goat, Frosty. Everyone in the family had left one morning, leaving no food for Nubbin and Frosty, and for some reason the two animals decided to go visit Nubbin’s best friend Bucky, a “movie star dog” who lived on Mill Creek five miles from Nubbin’s home. (more…) Continue Reading →

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High Plains BookFest opens with talk of the ‘other’ border


Of course it was planned and was not a lucky accident, but still, you couldn’t have found a better way to officially open this year’s High Plains BookFest on Friday. The theme of this year’s festival is Border Crossing, meant to celebrate the literary kinship of the people of the High Plains, whether they live in the United States or Canada. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Jimmie Rodgers show to hit the road

Jimmie Rodgers

I think this qualifies as news: The Humanities Montana board of directors is sending me and my brother, John, on the road with our presentation, “Jimmie Rodgers: The Life and Times of the Father of Country Music.” We will be taking this around the state under the auspices of the Speakers Bureau program of Humanities Montana. We have the Western Heritage Center to thank for this. I think it was Community Historian Kevin Kooistra who came up with the idea of having a monthly series of presentations in 2013 that focused on individual musicians or musical genres. For me it was kind of a dream come true. Continue Reading →

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Amateur filmmaker documented worst snowstorm in city’s history

If you live in Billings and think the recent run of heavy snowfall was bad, you should have been here in 1955. We’ve seen use of the terms “snowpocalypse” and “snowtravaganza” to describe the recent storms, but these hardly begin to compare with the storms of early April 1955. (more…) Continue Reading →

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