56 County History Tour of Montana Program at MHS - news.mt.gov

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56 County History Tour of Montana Program at MHS

Tuesday, September 20, 2016/Categories: Montana Historical Society/Tags:

Contact: Tom Cook 406-444-1645  Release:  receipt


                Author Russell Rowland spent two-years travelling the diverse parts of Montana to find out who its people are, where they came from and what they are in the process of becoming.

He will present his findings  from his new book, “Fifty-Six Counties: A Montana Journey,” in a free public program at the Montana Historical Society Thursday (Oct 6) at 6:30 p.m.

Before his recent death, noted Montana author Ivan Doig reviewed the book and wrote “Russell Rowland has given us a vivid and distinctive piece of homespun to take its proper place in the literary quilt of the West.”

In his introduction to the book, Rowland, who now lives in Billings, recounts a story told him by a man who works at the wind farms in Wheatland County about the out-of-state owner of the wind farm coming for his first visit to the site.

The Montanan offered to pick him up at the airport in Billings, but the owner said he would just catch a cab. When he told him he would probably not want to do that, the owner asked if there was a train he could take.

Finally, the Montanan told him he would just pick him up. “He was blown away by how isolated this place is,” Rowland writes.

As he continued his journey across Montana, Rowland said he realized he didn’t want to just tell readers about what he saw. “I realized that the one thing I wanted to accomplish was to explore the connection between our past and our present,” he writes.

The result is a book that not only tells non-Montanans about Montana, but also tells Montanans about themselves.

The new book is available in the MHS Museum Store, and Rowland will be available after the program to sign copies of it.



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