The Headwaters Heritage Museum and Gift Shoppe is located in a 1910 bank building, originally the Three Valleys State Bank, in the center of downtown Three Forks at the southwest corner of Main and Cedar. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Three Forks Area Historical Society opened the museum in July of 1982, and it contains a vast and fascinating array of artefact's from the Missouri River Headwaters area. To list just the highlights...an anvil found at the headwaters (possibly the oldest American-made anvil in existence), Montana's largest brown trout caught in 1966 and weighing in at 29.5 pounds, an extensive barb wire collection, a dugout canoe used in a Lewis and Clark TV documentary, and a log cabin from Gallatin City (first county seat) built in the 1860s.
Upstairs is a nostalgic journey to the past with an old fashioned kitchen, school room, dress and millinery shop, beauty shop, tool room, and dental office. Three Forks was founded in 1908 by the Milwaukee Railroad, and there is a station agent's office filled with memorabilia. A military room is dedicated to those of this area who served our nation.
An extensive collection of obituaries, photo archives, and a newspaper microfilm library of the earliest issues of the Three Forks Herald, as well as the highly inflammatory Pink Reporter, published between 1938 and 1942, are available.
Our gift shop offers souvenirs, gifts, post cards, and a wide assortment of books about the Lewis and Clark expedition, the fur trapping era, Native American topics, railroad, and local history. A collection of the papers presented at the 2010 Fur Trade Symposium at the Three Forks has been published and is also available. Members of the Three Forks Area Historical Society receive a 10 percent discount.
The Three Forks Area Historical Society has embarked on saving a 100-year old Northern Pacific Depot that was nearly demolished. It was moved from Trident to Three Forks in July of 2011 and is in the process of being renovated to become a Railroad/Trident Heritage Center. Funding is being provided by grants and the sales of engraved bricks. Contact the museum for further information.
Admission to the museum is free, although your donations help to keep the museum operating. Please visit us soon!
202 South Main Street
Three Forks, MT 59752