Books about Montana and the West, Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., American West

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Birthplace of Montana
A History of Fort Benton

by John G. Lepley

From its establishment in 1846 until the turn-of-the-century, Fort Benton’s primacy in the history of the northern plains is unequaled. Called the “Birthplace of Montana,” Fort Benton is the oldest continuously occupied white settlement in Montana.

The rich and famous, scoundrels and killers, merchants and gamblers rubbed elbows on Front Street and the levee as they arrived and embarked aboard mackinaws, keelboats and steamboats. Three-fourths of all freight that came into the region was unloaded on Fort Benton’s levee and transported to all points of the compass. Until the coming of the railroad, Fort Benton was the “Chicago of the Plains.”

In 1965 Fort Benton was designated a National Historic Landmark; the Upper Missouri became part of the National Wild and Scenic River System in 1975. The significant role they played in settlement of the American and Canadian West accorded them national and international importance in the history of both nations.

8.5"x11", 208 pages, Numerous photos, maps and illustrations, $24.95.
ISBN 978-1-57510-068-5


An Alien Place
The Fort Missoula, Montana, Detention Camp 1941–1944

by Carol Van Valkenburg

Van Valkenburg tells the story about the Italian and Japanese men imprisoned at Fort Missoula during the war: who they were, how their lives took this peculiar turn, and how the small, tranquil college town of Missoula, Montana, became for some, a shelter, and for others, a painful interlude in lives turned upside down by the events of a world war.

7"x10", 118 pages, 60 black-and-white photographs, $14.95.
ISBN 978-0-929521-99-2




One Night in a Bad Inn
A true story

by Christy Leskovar

This is the chronicle of two colorful immigrant families who lived through extraordinary times. Rich in history and character, this remarkable saga follows a notorious matriarch, two daring fugitives, a heroic Irish doughboy, and a beautiful, inspiring lady across the parched plains of eastern Montana to a raucous mining town to the bloody battlefields of the First World War.

6"x9", 594 pages, 27 photographs, maps, paperback, $19.95.
ISBN 978-1575101422

Finding the Bad Inn
Discovering My Family’s Hidden Past

By Christy Leskovar

Christy Leskovar's first book, One Night in a Bad Inn, a High Plains Book Award finalist, tells the true story of her family's secrets. Finding the Bad Inn is the detective hunt behind how she discovered who started the fire, how the body ended up in the house, why her grandmother was sent to an orphanage when she wasn’t an orphan, what really happened when her grandfather saved that man in the war, and so much more.

6"x9", 291 pages, 9 photographs, maps, hardback, $25.
ISBN 9781575101507

Glacier’s Grandest
A Pictorial History of the Hotels and Chalets
of Glacier National Park

by Bridget Moylan

The Great Northern’s grand hotels and chalets still touch the hearts of millions of visitors who marvel each year at “Glaciers Grandest,” the log and stone structures that have graced Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park for more than three quarters of a century.

7"x10", 96 pages, 73 photos, 8 pages of color, paperback, $9.95.
ISBN 0-929521-89-7


Packets to Paradise
Steamboating to Fort Benton

by John G. Lepley

The boats that plied the Upper Missouri and the men who piloted them were a breed unto themselves. Missouri River packets were especially built to survive the river’s innumerable hazards and to deliver their freight and passengers safely to the Montana frontier. The Missouri swallowed many; around every bend was another snag or bar that could dispatch the fragile boats to a watery grave.

8 1/2"x11", 294 pages, 407 photos, paperback, $19.95. 
ISBN 1-57510-091-6

Early Days In The Sagebrush Country

Compiled by Clarence Popham with research by Lorna Williams

A history of Stevensville in the fertile Bitterroot Valley in southwestern Montana. The first settlers were the Jesuit Fathers, Father DeSmet coming in 1841. The next year St. Mary’s Mission was established, and then the first farming in the state was done by the Fathers of the Mission. A little later, they built the first saw and grist mill. After establishing St. Mary’s Mission, Father DeSmet returned to St. Louis and went to Europe. He returned to St. Mary’s in 1844 bringing with him a number of Fathers and Lay Brothers. Among the number was Father Ravalli.

8 1/2"x11", 136 pages, 62 photos, paperback, $15.95.
ISBN 1-57510-039-8

Yellowstone by Train
A History Of Rail Travel To America’s First National Park

by Thornton Waite

The history of Yellowstone National Park and railroad travel to Yellowstone are closely connected because the railroad was the only practical means of reaching the park for many years. The railroads promoted the establishment and development of the park because they saw it as a potential business opportunity. This book covers all five entrances to the park and the railroads that serviced them.

8 1/2"x11", 168 pages, full color, hundreds of photos, maps, brochures, paperback, $24.95. ISBN 1-57510-129-7


Blackfoot Fur Trade on the Upper Missouri

by John G. Lepley

After years of strife and conflict, in 1830 the Blackfoot signed a treaty to trade with the Americans. During those years of trade their culture changed when the white man’s goods added to and modified their lifestyles. The two cultures lived side by side in an uneasy acceptance of one another until the discovery of gold in 1862.

8 1/2"x11", 304 pages, hundreds of photos, drawings and maps, paperback, $24.95. ISBN 1-57510-106-8


The University of Montana
A Pictorial History

by Stan Cohen and Don Miller

Since the publication of the first pictorial history in 1980, a profound change has occurred at the university, in the city of Missoula and the nation as a whole. The university has grown with close to 14,000 students now enrolled at the Missoula campus. Dozens of new construction projects dot the east side of Missoula, and, most importantly, smaller colleges in Dillon, Butte, Helena and Missoula are all now governed by UM and are part of the University system.

8 1/2"x11", 140 pages, hundreds of black-and-white photos, 8 pages of color, paperback, $14.95.  ISBN 1-57510-104-1


Purple & Gold
A 60-Year History of Missoula County High School

by Stan Cohen and Sandra Fisher with Sharon Garner

The history of Missoula County High School is also the history of Missoula in its 20th Century formative years. A great percentage of the political, professional, educational and business leaders of the city and county, up to the present time were graduates of the school. Until 1957 the present Hellgate High School build­ing was the main high school for county students (Frenchtown and the Catholic schools were the only other high schools in the county, and Loyola High School was closed for 20 years).

8 1/2"x 11", 188 pages, hundreds of photos, paperback, full color throughout, $19.95. ISBN 1-57510-119-X

Downhill In Montana
Early Day Skiing in the Treasure State and Yellowstone National Park

by Stan Cohen

Alpine skiing in Montana and Yellowstone National Park has a rich past dating from the late 19th century. From simple homemade rope tows to present high-speed quad chair lifts and trams, the history of over 60 ski areas is illustrated in this book in black and white and color photographs, newspaper articles, cor­respondence, ski patches and personal accounts.

8 1/2"x 11", 278 pages, full color, 500 photos, maps brochures, letters, charts, paperback, $24.95.  ISBN 978-1-57510-136-1




Downhill In Montana, the DVD
Early Day Skiing in the Treasure State and Yellowstone National Park

produced by Pictorial Histories
and Sunrise Studios

This 96-minute program traces the history of downhill skiing in Montana and Yellowstone Park, using original film footage, stills and interviews. The time frame is from the first ski trip into the Park in the 1880s to pre-war footage of the 1935 Anaconda Winter Carnival, Wraith Hill and its 1939 chairlift, to film and stories of ski train trips up the Blackfoot Valley; to Blossburg out of Helena and to Roland, Idaho from Missoula. Ski areas include Bear Canyon, Bridger Bowl, Beef Trail, Hellroaring (Big Mountain), Rainy Mountain (Maverick Mountain), GibbonsPass (Lost Trail), Lookout Pass, Diamond Mountain, Double Arrow Ranch, Belmont (Great Divide), Udine (Yellowstone Park), Lionhead, Kings Hill (Showdown), McDonald Pass, Grizzly Peak (Red Lodge Mountain), Snow Park, Snowbowl, and Marshall Mountain. The DVD is complemented by the book of the same title (above), which traces the history of more than 60 ski areas in the same geographic area. $19.95

Missoula The Way It Was
A Portrait Of An Early Western Town

by Lenora Koelbel with Stan Cohen

With all the changes in the city/ county of the past 32 years it was time to bring out a revised edition of Missoula The Way It Was. This edition has retained Ms Koelbel’s text with slight revisions and updates as well as a much-expanded photo section with some never-before-published photos.

8 1/2"x 11", 184 pages, hundreds of photos, full color, paperback, $19.95.
ISBN 1-57510-112-2


Rails To Gold And Silver
Lines to Montana’s Mining Camps, Volume 2: 1883–1887

by Bill & Jan Taylor

In 1883, with its mainline through Montana completed, the NP’s restrictive language of its charter and the conservative nature of its management prevented it from building branch lines to the developing gold, silver and copper mining camps such as Rimini and Butte. James J. Hill of the Great Northern Railway recognized the omission and began building a railroad into the territory.

8 1/2"x11", 148 pages, 150 photos, maps, profiles, newspa­per accounts, paperback, $24.95. ISBN 1-57510-056-9


On The Road To Yellowstone

The Yellowstone Trail and American Highways 1900–1930

by Harold A. Meeks

Before 1900 long distance trav sel in America and elsewhere was strictly a railroad phenomenon, but with improvements in the internal combustion engine, automobile travel gradually became popular. First a sporting activity for the wealthy, this new means of locomotion quickly spread to a greater consuming public and a cry for better roads swept across the land.

8 1/2"x11", 208 pages, 276 photos, maps, documents, paperback, $15.95.
ISBN 1-57510-079-7



The Butte Short Line
The Construction Era 1888–1929

by Bill & Jan Taylor

In 1883, the Northern Pacific Rail­road decided to bypass Butte, Montana, in favor of a main line through Helena, 40 miles to the north. Helena appeared to be a more lucrative source of traffic at the time and offered a lower crossing of the continental divide. Within three years the situation changed. Butte be­gan its conversion into a copper mining center. In 1886 the NP began a decade-long struggle to find a route into Butte. This is a history of that effort.

8 1/2"x11", 112 pages, 140 photos, maps, profiles, newspaper accounts, paperback, $22.95. ISBN 1-57510-040-1


The Western Montana Fair
A Pictorial Heritage

by Stan Cohen with Katy and Les Jourdonnais

Any event that has occurred annually for over a hundred years gathers a history. Unfortunately, the greater, and perhaps many of the more colorful parts, tend to be lost and forgotten. Here is a pictorial history of what today is known as the Western Montana Fair; showing many of the changes and events that have occurred. This book will bring the reader not only insight on past fairs, but also memories of those enjoyable and thrilling times spent at this or any fair.

8 1/2"x 11", 68 pages, 70 photos, paperback, $7.95.
ISBN 1-57510-002-9



Little Coyote

A Novel by Charles J. Keim

Charles J. Keim has written often, and well, but his second novel, Little Coyote, far surpasses previous efforts. Set in the vast land that would become Montana, Keim’s passionate love for the this place, its inhabitants and its wild, colorful past become evident as he skillfully tells this story of the Flathead people, their allies, their enemies, their enormous dilemma as white men and white men’s ways and “marvels” relentlessly approach from the east to bring drastic and everlasting change.

6"x9", 858 pages, hardcover, $25.
ISBN 1-57510-022-3



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