The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Arlene Weber
Contributing Writer 

New historic tour a success


August 9, 2017

The historic tours conducted over the Frontier Days weekend were a success with all but two seats sold on the five tours. Most of the participants were local and several came from nearby communities. The first tour on July 28th included a group from Meadowlark Manor. Some people took the tour to reminisce and other wanted to learn more about the valley's history. Transportation was provided by Whitehall Public Transportation with driver Tom Salvagni and tour guide Arlene Weber

Catherine Ellerton

The 2017 Historic Tour was a hit local residents.

The first stop was at the Piedmont Pond for a brief history of the old town of Piedmont which was started by the Milwaukee Railroad back in 1908. The next stop was at the old Pleasant Valley school with a short history about the school and how it became a community center when students began attending classes in Whitehall. The piano on display at the Jefferson Valley Museum once shook the rafters with music when local musicians would create beautiful music for community dances. Stories about some of the people who lived in Pleasant Valley were included. The location of Renova was next with a short history of the town of Gaylord and Parrot as well as the murder that took place in the Renova hotel back in the early 1920's. It has been immortalized in the book "One Night in a Bad Inn" by Christy Leskovar.

The favorite stop for most tour participants was the Fish Creek cemetery and its many beautiful and often unusual monuments. They learned about some of the people buried there, many with tragic stories from illness to accidents to murder. Known graves at the cemetery range from an infant who died to 1871 to a Civil War veteran, WWI veterans; and, several those from this year.

There are plans to conduct historic tours again next July with a possible change to the east end of the valley. In the meantime, people are encouraged to visit the Jefferson Valley Museum to learn more about Piedmont, Pleasant Valley, Renova, and many of the people who are buried at the Fish Creek Cemetery.


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