“Discover the rich Native American history of Montana!”
Situated within the Crow Indian Reservation in south-central Montana, 40 minutes south of Billings, this day-use park preserves the log home, sacred spring, and farmstead of Chief Plenty Coups. This state park is a National Historic Landmark. Plenty Coups (Aleek-chea-ahoosh, meaning "many achievements") was a man of war - and then a man of peace - whose vision has helped bridge a gap between two cultures. Recognized for his bravery and leadership, he was made a chief of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe by age 28. When Plenty Coups gave up his nomadic ways in 1884, he became one of the first Apsáalooke to own and settle on a farm, which was deeded to him through the federal Indian Allotment Act. On his 320-acre tract, located a half mile east of Pryor, he opened a general store, built a home, and tilled the earth until his death in 1932 at age 84. At that time, as requested by Plenty Coups and his wife, Strikes the Iron, 195 acres of his land was made into a public park. Upon his death, the Apsáalooke people voted to designate him as their last traditional tribal chief. Plan at least an hour to walk the grounds and browse through the Visitor Center that commemorates the life of this remarkable man and his efforts to lead his people into bridging the gap between two cultures and transition from a tipi and buffalo to a settled reservation lifestyle. Walk the 1/2 mile trail around the park along beautiful Pryor Creek.The tranquil, shaded picnic area is a beautiful spot to enjoy lunch and absorb the serenity of this special place.
This is a fascinating place lacking wow factor. The museum, staffed by Americorps volunteers, does a superior job showcasing the man, the people, the group, and the history. If you are excited by words and cool exhibits, this place is a must see. But, if you need help via Disney or Hollywood glitz to enjoy a historical landmark, this place is a half snooze. Outside of the museum, the lands are about as interesting as a city park. The landscape is not gorgeous, but simply beautiful. The.original house, dating back to 1886 is great. We spent hours here but we were pretty much the only ones.
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Chief Plenty Coups State Park
- Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
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