The Bad Old Days of Montana celebrates the state’s glorious and rowdy past. Many people born and bred here relish just how “bad” things used to be: the terrain, the inhabitants and especially the quality of whiskey. It almost goes without saying that Montana had all the characteristic wild west elements — and in abundance! The chapters focus on the infamous and notorious rather than the law-abiding and civic-minded settlers. These pages, like the state, recount the tales of people who came west seeking if not their fortune, at least opportunity. It is no secret that Montana was settled by the adventurous willing to brave the harsh conditions and to prevail. Whether on the right or the wrong side of the law, all settlers and pioneers made unique contributions to the state’s complex culture. Certainly, in the nineteenth century, Montana was not for the faint of heart.
Beginning with the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 as the origins of the mountain men, the book will offer a variety of strange tales, ranging from vigilanteeism to the heyday of the Copper Kings. Many such tales were influenced by too much whiskey and greed. This book is an account of the misfits, outlaws and rugged individuals who cast their mark on this most remarkable state.
Populated by the native tribes before “discovery” by Lewis and Clark at the headwaters of the Missouri River, the land that would become known as Montana was traversed by mountain men, mined by gold and mineral seekers and ranched and harvested by the homesteaders. Throughout these varied waves of discovery and settlement, this book explores the less-than-savory dealings, the early attempts at law and order (which often failed or had questionable results), and the myriad of colorful characters and events that made Montana what it is today.
Randi Samuelson-Brown is a native of Colorado, originally from Golden. Her ancestors came to the state in the 1880s/1890s, a fact she is proud of. She is the author of Market Street Madam, an award-nominated historical fiction set in a vice-riddled Denver and Leadville during the 1890s.