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HISTORY & PREHISTORY

Charles M. Bair Museum

Charles M. Bair Museum

This house museum is a monument to beauty, hard work and luck. Charles M. Bair came to Montana in 1883 as a conductor on the Northern Pacific railroad and went into the ranching business in 1893. He made his fortune in the Alaska Gold rush and went on to invest in mining, oil and real estate. Bair was one of the most successful sheep owners in the world, at one time running over 300,000 head. Among his friends were Will Rogers, Chief Plenty Coups, and many U.S. presidents.

The Bair home was built in 1913, but the family added to the house until it had 26 rooms and was finally finished in 1936. Bair's daughters, Alberta and Marguerite, who were the last to live in the house, purchased many of the antiques and works of art on their frequent trips to Europe. Some of the native American artifacts displayed in the pine room, the Bair's favorite, include a small beaded vest given to Alberta Bair at about age six by Chief Plenty Coups. Displayed throughout the house are original paintings by C.M. Russell, Joseph Henry Sharp, and other world-renowned artists.

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