Brand Bar Museum

 
Museum Then (Circa 1910's)

Museum Then (Circa 1910's)

Museum Now

Museum Now

The museum's earlier history is quite colorful, being situated in the heart of Ovando. In 1897 it was a saloon owned by Henry Dixon and Charlie Young who called it the "Bucket of Blood". From them it passed onto the Barbie's hands and renamed the "Double Diamond". Bud Beard claimed it next in the 1930's calling it the Brand Bar Saloon; where in its original location currently is the Brand Bar Museum. In the 1950's the Brand Bar became Trixi's until it was relocated to Highway 200, its present location, to allow for more room.

 
Old-Ovando-Brand-Bar-Saloon.jpg
Ovando's Historical Society and Auxiliary Fire Department, after April 2002 fire

Ovando's Historical Society and Auxiliary Fire Department, after April 2002 fire

 

The museum today houses memorabilia of Old Ovando. It is a collection of local history and unique antiques. Run by the Ovando Historical Society, it came about by the hard efforts of Marie McNally, and opened in 1992. It is a unique addition to the town of Ovando, and it continues to expand today. Currently the Historical Society is pushing through efforts to save and, if necessary, relocate other old buildings in the area that have begun to fall to ruin.

Museum Interior

Museum Interior

The Historical Society is also working on an oral history of the area, targeting the old schools built in the late 1800's to early 1900's. Interviewing students and teachers of the era and then converting them into written form, the historical society has an ever increasing volume of those that lived here and how they lived here. In most cases, the stories themselves are lively entertainment.

If you have information or historical pictures of Ovando and its residents, the Brand Bar Museum is always looking for additions. You can contact Barb McNally at 406 793 5685 or Terry Sheppard at 406 793 5718.

The Brand Bar Museum is always open. All you have to do is ask for the key at the Blackfoot Inn.