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Headwaters Heritage Museum - Three Forks, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member BK-Hunters
N 45° 53.581 W 111° 33.156
12T E 457128 N 5082309
Quick Description: Though twice a bank, that didn't take and today this substantial brick and stone building houses the Headwaters Heritage Museum.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 3/28/2019 9:26:55 PM
Waymark Code: WM109VA
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member neoc1
Views: 1

Long Description:
A haunted bank - we can think of a few possibilities here - a disgruntled depositor who lost it all during a financial panic and came back after death to even the score - a dishonest cashier who absconded with bank funds and was caught, his penance being to haunt the bank forever - a foiled bank robber, determined to make the bank sorry for not having turned over the cash...

In any event, someone seems to be haunting the bank, someone who definitely wished to make their presence known, too.

Headwaters Heritage Museum
This 1910 bank building was converted to a heritage museum, but an evil entity is still believed to linger in the building. Several visitors have reported being pushed by an unseen presence, as well as feeling cold spots and hearing disembodied footsteps.
From Haunted Places
Three Valleys State Bank opened in Three Forks in 1910, just two years after the town was platted. The majority of its clients were homesteaders scratching out a living in the surrounding countryside, which, for the bank, would not be a good thing. Drought hit Montana in 1917 and lasted for several years, forcing many farmers off their land. Eventually, the banks which held the mortgages on these farms would fail, as well. In fact, over half of Montana's banks would disappear as a result of the protracted drought, this one included. After several changes in ownership the bank was, at that time, American National Bank.

A bank again in 1960, it, too is now gone and the old bank is now home to the Headwaters Heritage Museum, open June 1 through September 30 (and by appointment in the off season). While the museum has been open since 1982, we can't state with certainty that it has been in this building for all of those thirty years.

The Three Forks Area Historical Society opened the museum in July of 1982, and it contains a vast and fascinating array of artefacts from the Missouri River Headwaters area. To list just the 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.
From Visit Montana

Following is a bit of a walk through of the museum, from the NRHP data sheet, allowing one to get a feel for the museum and its setup.

Three Valleys State Bank The Main Floor
The public entrance is in the middle of the east wall, when the building was originally constructed the entrance was on the left side. There is a wood paneled partition separating the vestibule from the main room. From the entrance, a ramp curves up to the right of the main room, which is 31 feet 9 inches by 23 feet 1 inch. This was originally the bank lobby and now functions as the main room of the museum. Behind this room is an area 11 feet 9 inches, which was the bank vault and now is used for museum storage. There is an adjacent lavatory. Behind this area is a room 16 feet wide, which was originally for bank bookkeeping but is now used for museum displays. Behind this room is an area 9 feet 3 inches wide, which accommodates the basement stairs and the stairs to the second floor.

The Second Floor
In the 1950s the east room of the main floor housed the Montana Power office and the stairs to the second floor were deemed unsafe and were removed. When the building was purchased for thie museum, the stairs were reconstructed. The second floor consists of a hallway running the length of the south side of the building and eight office spaces on the north side. There is a door on the south wall that connects with the building on the south, but this door has been sealed. Beginning about 1912, there were a number of dentists, doctors and attorneys using these offices. These rooms are currently set up as museum exhibits and each room depicts a different area of interest. Beginning at the west end, there is an early dentist office, a washroom for laundry, early butter churns, then a kitchen with a wood stove and all the furnishings that went into a kitchen at that time. Next is a military room, then an early day school room, next is the blacksmith shop outfitted with every thing a smithy would have needed. Following that is the millinery shop and seamstress room, which adjoins the beauty shop. At the end of the hall is the railroad room, which shows an early day Milwaukee depot. There are exhibits the length of the south wall, consisting of early day tack, a large collection of barbwire and sewing machines used for saddle making and boot making.

The kitchen room was originally the office of Mr. Wallenwaber, an attorney. Dr Symonds, a dentist was in the schoolroom, and Dr. Hoy occupied the blacksmith room. The railroad room was formerly the office of Mr. Samuell, an attorney and then it was the city library, then the office of Dr. Stentz, a dentist.
From the NRHP Registration Form

Photo goes Here

Public access?:

Visting hours:
Monday - Saturday: 9:00am - 5:00pm Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm

Website about the location and/or story: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
  • Please submit a photo(s) taken by you of your visit to the location (non-copyrighted photos only). GPS photos are also accepted with the location in the background, and old vacation photos are accepted. Photos you took of paranormal activity are great. If you are not able to provide a photo, then please describe your visit or give a story about the visit
  • Tell your story if you saw, felt, or smelled anything unusual. Post pictures of what you saw.
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  • Be careful and do not enter areas which are off limits or look dangerous. No waymark is worth harm. Use your 6th sense, because sometimes there are unseen things which are telling you to stay out.
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