The vast space of the American West that has been designated as the state of Montana is such a diverse and varied landscape that it’s been said it could easily be sliced up into several smaller states. And with its smorgasbord of industry, history, culture and the various worldviews held by its residents, getting a bead on Montana’s personality is a challenge. That may be because Montana, in fact, has several fairly distinct personalities. This book examines those personalities, through the lens of seven geographic and cultural regions commonly recognized in the state. While Montanans share a few attitudes and love of the land that attracts them to Big Sky country, it’s the differences between the regions that truly give the state its unique flavor. Through interviews, photos, history and personal observations, Therriault profiles each region and in the process gives a more complete view of the state as a whole. Along the way the reader will learn why some people choose to live where they do, how they view the rest of the state, and what some of the factors are that give each region its singularity.
Ednor Therriault has spent more than 20 years exploring Montana from corner to corner. He’s authored two editions of Montana Curiosities, revised the current edition of Montana Off the Beaten Path, and has completed work on Yellowstone Myths and Legends, which includes in-depth historical information on Montana’s gateway communities of Gardiner and West Yellowstone.
Therriault brings the wit of a humorist, the fact-finding tenacity of a journalist, and a deep Montana pedigree to his work. His father, a decorated Marine pilot, was born in Missoula. His great-great-grandparents homesteaded along Douglas Creek in the Flint Valley in the late 1800s, and his grandfather mined for gold in Garnet, now Montana’s best-preserved ghost town. Therriault also studies Native American history, and recognizes the importance of including Indian culture and narratives in his depictions of the complex history of Montana.