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HISTORY & PREHISTORY

Return to Lonesome Dove

Return To Lonesome Dove, sequel to the popular western Lonesome Dove, was filmed in several areas of Montana. Look for the Ennis/Virginia City, Butte, and Billings areas on screen in this television mini-series filmed in the summer of 1993. 

Nearly 300 crew members came to Montana to work on the movie. A major project like this means big money for set construction. The production company built a mansion in Ennis in the middle of a vacant field. The three-story home was built in detail, with everything but plumbing and foundation, and when the movie was over, it was sold for scrap. 

And that was nothing compared to the Billings setting. That set, representing a ranch home in Nebraska belonging to Clara Allen, cost $500,000 to build. The house, along with outbuildings, was built in minute detail. The home itself was furnished with thousands of dollars of antiques.

The house was set ablaze as part of the script. What wasn't planned, however, was that it was completely destroyed. The script called for Clara to go through the ashes after the fire, recognizing individual pieces of furniture. The fire got too hot, however, and incinerated it all.

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