Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site

Preservation

Support Your Park

The National Park Service cares for America's treasures, and you can help. There are many ways to support Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site.

  • Come visit and share your love of the park with family and friends.
  • Be a good park visitor. Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.
  • Support stewardship of the park by becoming educated about the natural and cultural resources.
  • Be a volunteer. There's nothing more rewarding than the warm thanks from visitors who you helped connect to the park and it's resources!
  • Support the park's bookstore. Proceeds from book sales help fund exhibits and programs.
  • Keep informed on park issues and provide comment during park planning processes.

Thank you for your support!

Centennial Initiative 2016

On August 25, 2006 - the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service - Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne launched the National Park Centennial Initiative to prepare national parks for another century of conservation, preservation and enjoyment. Since then the National Park Service asked citizens, park partners, experts and other stakeholders what they envisioned for a second century of national parks.

A nationwide series of more than 40 listening sessions produced more than 6,000 comments that helped to shape five centennial goals. The goals and vision were presented to President Bush and to the American people on May 31st in a report called The Future of America's National Parks.

Every national park staff took thier lead from this report and created local centennial strategies to describe thier vision and desired accomplishments by 2016. This is just the first year, and there are many great things to come as the National Park Service prepares to celebrate 100 years.

 

Collections

The story of Grant-Kohrs Ranch and its association with the nation's frontier cattle era is manifested in the site's extensive archive and museum collection.

The site's rich breadth of artifacts—from sewing needles to wagons, linen maps to leather tack—comprise an intact material culture of one of the West's legendary cattle empires. Over 23,000 artifacts survive, consisting of everyday objects once used by the people who lived and worked at this ranch from the 1860s to the 1960s.

About ten percent of this collection is easily visible in the ranch buildings. Major exhibit venues include the furnished main floor of the 1890s Kohrs manor; the 1930s bunkhouse and tack shed; and the thoroughbred barn housing historic wagons, carriages, and sleighs. The bulk of the collection is in storage, but is available to researchers and other interested persons by appointment with the curator.

Equally rich is the site's archive—over 100 shelf-feet of records, ledgers, letters and receipts. Altogether this constitutes the provenience, or origin, of the ranch's purchase and operation by Conrad Kohrs in 1866 through his grandson's ownership to 1972.

The collection includes the original deed from John Grant to Kohrs; tintypes and photographs; furniture and livestock receipts; oral histories and home movies. Congress recognized this extraordinary museum and archival collection when Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site was authorized in 1972.

As the only cultural resource of its kind in the 390-unit National Park System, Grant-Kohrs Ranch collections are accessible by appointment for onsite research. Arrangements can be made by calling the site curator at 406-846-2070 ext. 242 Monday-Friday during business hours.

Volunteer

There are many volunteer opportunities at Grant-Kohrs Ranch. Serving as a park volunteer will provide a very important service to our park area, our community, and our nation. The ability to improve visitor experiences depends greatly on the successful recruitment of volunteers to augment the core of highly professional and dedicated National Park Service staff.

Our volunteers work in our Interpretation and Visitor Services division assisting with visitor center operations, guided house tours and special events, our Curatorial division assisting with museum object care, and our Natural Resource Management division assisiting with ranch work. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact the park volunteer coordinator.

A summer interpretive volunteer is teaching children how to read brands by playing brand bingo. This is one of many summer programs our volunteers can do.

Park volunteers help out caring for our 36,000 museum objects and organizing the park research library and historic archives.

Local volunteers help rope calves for branding during our Western Heritage Days Weekend event.

Volunteers from throughout the state bring their teams of draft horses to help with historic haying demonstrations.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors shape the landscape and habitats of Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site and the Deer Lodge Valley. Long before humans arrived geological processes, weather, and fire shaped this environment. More recently, natural processes have been affected by human activity. The valley has experienced many impacts including mining, ranching, and the development of towns and cities.

Several environmental factors are being monitored by National Park Service staff and researchers from other agencies or universities. The goal of montoring is to gather information for its use in science-based decision making and to ultimately preserve the park's resources.