In 2018 Candi Zion applied for a grant through the Montana History Foundation in an effort to record Oral stories of the area, then document important places and pursue a historical designation on the north and south forks of the Teton River Canyon west of Choteau. Candi said the goal is to capture histories of people such as dude ranchers Chuck and Sharon Blixrud, and people related to the Metis families who lived in cabins up the two forks during the early part of the 20th century, people related to historical-period (1960’s and earlier) recreational cabins as well as people related to writers A.B. Guthrie Jr., Joseph Howard and Richard Hugo. Old Trail Museum has been the sponsor of this effort. In May of 2018 Old Trail Museum received a grant from the Montana History Foundation in the amount of $5,000.00.
We had to have a 25 percent match and through the generous donations from the area we were able to achieve this. Candi has completed the first phase of this project by interviewing up to 10 individuals whom have been handpicked for their knowledge of the area. The next phase will be to apply for a second grant which Candi has completed and sent to the Montana History Foundation. This grant, if received, will be to document the Metis cemetery that is in close proximity to the old Circle 8 Ranch, which is now owned by the Natures Conservancy, and to delve into the history of the Teton River Bridge which was built by German convicts during the war. Candi will also work on getting these two properties nominated to the National Register.
This is an exciting project to make sure the history of the Teton Canyon is not lost. If you are interested in helping this cause you can make a tax deductible contribution to the Old Trail Museum at 823 N. Main, Choteau, Mt. 59422. Make sure you specify that your contribution is for the Teton Canyon History Project.