Preserving and Promoting the Cultural Heritage of the Swan Valley.

The Upper Swan Valley Historical Society (USVHS), established in 1988, is dedicated to the discovery, collection, preservation and interpretation of materials that will help establish and illustrate our local history.

Guann’s cabin. Swan Lake. 1920s-1930s era.
Carla Kahn Collection. USVHS archives.

The upper Swan Valley area is unique in that it still retains a plethora of evidence of its varied history. There still exist old Indian trails crisscrossing our mountains. Old trapper cabins and marten notched trees are still around on the landscape. This area was homesteaded and settled at a relatively late date, primarily from the mid-1910's and later, with many artifacts and buildings of that particular era still in existence. Early Forest Service ranger station buildings and cabins are still here. Springboard notched trees and sawmill sites from the early logging days are scattered around the valley. The early dude ranches and lodges are still here today.

Wranglers, Dudes and Homesteaders
Stories from Montana's Swan Valley Lodges
- Lindbergh Lake version
11 minutes

This beautiful film captures the magic of the Western life style as it carries you back to the early years of Montana’s dude ranches with stories, film and photos from one of the Swan Valley’s historical ranches, Laird’s Lodge, now the Lindbergh Lake Lodge. First of a series.

Visit our Projects page to order the DVD »»

Herb Styler and Bob Van Gieson in the Mission Mountains. 1950s. USFS/Van Gieson photo. USVHS archives.

Save the Date!

MAY 31
Ladies ‘Spring Fling’
Luncheon and Program
11am - 3pm @ Holland Lake Lodge

"I Do: A Cultural History of Montana Weddings" with Martha Kohl

See our Events page for details!
Swan Valley Museum
Museum hours by appointment
Call (406) 754-2745 or 754-2238

Coming Up
Plan to attend!

Displays @ the Museum and Swan Valley Community Hall; Huckleberry Ice Cream @ Swan Valley Community Hall

JUL 19
Wranglers, Dudes and Homesteaders, Lodges Film Screening and Historical Presentation, 7pm @ Swan Valley Community Hall

Annual Meeting, date to be announced

DEC 6 and 7
Frostbite Festival Weekend Celebration; SAT - Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale, SUN - Family Day

DEC 14
Enjoy a self-guided tour of Swan Valley homes, decorated for the holidays

As Time Goes By: A Chronology of Swan Valley
Inside this chronology of the scenic Swan Valley in western Montana you’ll learn about  events that connect us to the Indian people who first encountered the Swan Valley, the surveyors  who mapped thousands of acres of uncharted land, the homesteaders who toiled to eke out a living, the foresters and woodsmen who managed the natural resources, and numerous citizens who worked to make the character of Swan Valley what it is today.

Visit our Projects page to order the book »»

Montana: Voices of the Swan
Over the past decade, many of the Swan Valley's early settlers and residents have been interviewed, sharing their stories of what it was like to be among the first to inhabit this wild and rugged land.

Visit our Projects page to order the book »»