Montanans at Home
While thoughts of home evoke a strong emotional response from most Montanans, the specifics of what exactly constituted “home” varied greatly by time and place. For nomadic Plains Indians, it most often meant a buffalo hide tipi, the location of which was determined by the tribe’s territory and the season of the year. Their possessions were minimal since households had to be easily transported on dog- or horse-drawn travois. Well into the twentieth century, the first home for newcomers to the Treasure State was most often a one-room cabin, dugout, or tarpaper shack; a Spartan barracks; or a bedroll on the ground. Conversely, wealthy Montanans like Butte’s Copper Kings dwelled comfortably in elaborately furnished Victorian mansions that rivaled those found anywhere in the country.