As a tribute to all the homesteaders and early settlers who toiled to eke out a living in Swan Valley, USVHS highlights a local family with deep and lasting connections to our community. The family trees are on display at the Swan Valley Museum and a 12x18" print is available for purchase.
Holland Family Visits Swan Valley Museum
Over thirty family members of the first Swan Valley homesteaders’, Benjamin and Charles Holland, visited the Swan Valley Museum on July 27, 2023, with Steve and Sharon Lamar to learn more about their ancestors’ lives in the Swan Valley and share their knowledge of the family history.
Long before it became known as the Gordon Ranch, this natural prairie in the Swan River Valley has been a gathering place. From the Pend d’Oreille people gathering to dig camas, to the Hollands bringing hunters together for a pack trip, to the mapmakers and surveyors gathering to resupply and camp, to Dr. Gordon and family coming to celebrate the newly constructed lodge, the Gordon Ranch has provided many hardy souls with shelter, companionship and sustenance.
Inside this volume the reader will gain a broader understanding of the natural, cultural and historical aspects of the region as well as discover the oftentimes amusing and downright astounding tales about authentic western ranch experiences of the owners, caretakers, and ranch hands. From branding, to fencing, to haying, to horse-driving, to outfitting, the record of their experiences gives us a sense of who we are and how the landscape shapes us.
The cost per book is $25 + $5 USPS postage and handling.
Inside this collection of huckleberry stories, historical accounts and recipes you’ll discover the distinctive flavor of Swan Valley. Sprinkled with archival photos, The Huck Book looks back at the traditions and lore that showcase the most sought- after fruit of the forest. Sample Swan Valley’s rich and varied culinary heritage from over 80 recipes generously supplied by the valley’s finest cooks. The Huck Book is a feast of historical accounts and nostalgia as well as a guide to the best huckleberry delights in the West.
The cost per book is $15 + $4 USPS postage and handling.
Wranglers, Dudes and Homesteaders
Stories from Montana's Swan Valley Lodges
Lindbergh Lake Lodge, Holland Lake Lodge and Gordon Ranch
Wranglers, Dudes and Homesteaders captures the magic of the Western lifestyle as it carries one back to the early years of Montana’s dude ranches, with stories and photos of that bygone era from Lindbergh Lake Lodge, Holland Lake Lodge and the Gordon Ranch. Surviving family members of previous lodge owners as well as former guests, share remembrances and tell tales of how things were. Wranglers, Dudes and Homesteaders, a production of the USVHS, is part of The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country and is featured on the Tourism Montana website. The film was directed and produced by Jenny Rohrer of Rohrer Film & Video.
The cost per DVD is $15 + $3 USPS postage and handling.
As Time Goes By: A Chronology of Swan Valley
Inside this chronology of the scenic Swan Valley in western Montana you’ll learn about events that connect us to the Indian people who first encountered the Swan Valley, the surveyors who mapped thousands of acres of uncharted land, the homesteaders who toiled to eke out a living, the foresters and woodsmen who managed the natural resources, and numerous citizens who worked to make the character of Swan Valley what it is today. Whether you are a student of local history or a curious visitor in the Swan, reading this chronology will expand your understanding of the natural, cultural and historical aspects of the region.
The cost per book is $18 + $4 USPS postage and handling.
Montana: Voices of the Swan
Stories From The Upper Swan Valley Oral History Project
Over the past decade, many of the Swan Valley's early settlers and residents have been interviewed, sharing their stories of what it was like to be among the first to inhabit this wild and rugged land. The Upper Swan Valley Historical Society has published these experiences so future generations will have a better understanding of the challenging lifestyles as well as the changes on the landscape that our ancestors experienced. The book is filled with tales and recollections told by those who experienced them! Numerous photos and incidental historical information as well as maps have been added to the stories to help bring the past to life for the reader.
The cost is $45 per book or $40 each for two or more + $6 USPS postage and handling per book.
Montana: Voices Of The Swan is also available for purchase at the following locations:
Missoula: Fact & Fiction
Seeley Lake: The Grizzly Claw Trading Co.
Condon: Mission Mountains Mercantile
Swan Valley Museum
Swan Valley Library
This collection includes 56 interviews with residents of the Swan Valley, Montana, detailing the agricultural, ranching, forest service, logging and outfitting activities in the area. The interviews were conducted from 1998 to 2009 by Suzanne M. Vernon, Samantha Epstein, Jeanell Innerarity, Kit Johnston, and Adam Lieberg.
The interviewees discuss specific locations such as Lindbergh Lake, Salmon Prairie, and Gordon Ranch as well as broader subjects including Swan Valley community, recreation, schools, churches, and wildlife. The original interviews are held as Oral History collection OH 422 at Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula.