2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Very Interesting Museums in Deer Lodge, Montana

Deer Lodge, Montana has some very interesting museums.  Four are included in one admission price and one is free.  We started off at the Old Montana Prison and did their self-guided tour.
This facility served as a prison from 1871 to 1979.  Click on any photo to enlarge for reading.

We were given a brochure that corresponded with numbered posts so we could learn about each area.  This is the wall that was construct in 1893.  It is 24 feet high, 3 feet thick at the top and 4 1/2 feet thick at the bottom.  It extends 4 feet underground.

This is the visiting room in the 1871 Federal Building.  Inmates were strip-searched before and after visits. 

Ok, I took me a lot of looking on the Internet but I finally found out what this piece of equipment is for.  It's a rotary file.

In another room was a Diebold Cardineer Rotary File from the 1940's.  Very interesting.

The main entry of the Federal Building.  To the left is a cabinet full of interesting weapons made by inmates.

Exterior of 1912 cell house.

It was so dark in these cells that we couldn't get a decent photo.

Interior of the 1912 Cell House.  These cells were four high.  The cells on the bottom were always cold and the cells on top were too hot.

Inside of the cell were two beds, a sink, a toilet and a desk.  The cells had red light bulbs.  I don't know if they were actually left over from when the prison was occupied or not.

The shower area where the temperature was centrally controlled by guards.

Did I say the East Siberia cells were dark?  Oh, they were nothing compared to The Hole.

Can you see the damage on the upper left window caused by the 1959 bazooka blast?

Another view of the 1912 cell house with the rear of the white Federal Building attached.  This is the yard-side of the buildings.

Attached to the Prison Museum was the Montana Auto Museum.  All I can say is WOW!!  I've never see so many vintage cars in one place.  There were at least 100 cars in this building.  Everything from a 1903 Model A Ford to 1970's Firebirds.  Even a few trucks and military vehicles.

The cars were so close that you couldn't get a decent photo of one.

I love my trailer!  This would have really been roughing it.

I'd never seen one of these before.

Enlarge to check out the fins on this one!

Yeah this is more my style!

Well I guess after spending $200,000 they could truly say they had a one-of-a-kind car.

OK, this is what I grew up with.  My family had three or four of them while I was growing up.  Actually they had a VW Bug when I was a baby but had to upsize because the kids wouldn't fit.

Nolan's mom had one of these when she was young.

After the car museum we went to the Yesterday's Playthings Doll and Toy Museum but it was mostly Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls so we didn't take any photos.

The next museum was the Frontier Montana Museum.  What a collection of guns and cowboy clothing and equipment!

On a recent "American Pickers" show they bought a pair of J.O. Bass spurs.  I think the price was around $5,000.

Let's just say some of the cowboys were fantasizing when they had their horse's bits made.

Isn't this wood block floor beautiful?

See next photo.

Hey look!  Even mountain men had purses!  They just called them a necessary bag. 

The last museum was the Powell County Museum.  A extensive collection of wood carvings was on display.  They were all carved by the same guy and were quite detailed.  

Even this chain was carved from wood.

This was an enormous collection of salt and pepper shakers.  Some were quite amusing and others were kind of risqué. 

This one included some other spices.

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