You have 2 trips in progress. See all
The Western Heritage Center is a regional museum located in historic downtown Billings, Montana, United States. The museum is housed in the historic Parmly Billings Memorial Library, built in 1901. The building is a stately Richardsonian Romanesque structure with twin towers, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Western Heritage Center displays original exhibits about south-central Montana and the Northern Plains and houses oral histories and artifacts about the history of the Yellowstone River Valley. The museum celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2021.Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Western Heritage Center by using our Billings driving holiday planner.
The Western Heritage Center, a former affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum opened in 1971 after a organized group of leading citizens prevented the building from being torn down. The founders established the museum as an interpretive center with an emphasis on changing exhibits, outreach programming, and the incorporation of new technologies.
In 2001, the Western Heritage Center received the Montana Governor's Humanities Award, the second organization to receive an honor usually reserved for individual contributions to the Humanities. In 2002, the WHC became the first Smithsonian Institution affiliated museum in the Northern Plains. Beginning in 2004, and running through 2009, WHC received federal appropriations from the United States Department of the Interior for the American Indian Tribal Histories Project, a program contributing to the preservation of Crow and Northern Cheyenne tribal histories. The museum is one of six museums in Montana accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
The Western Heritage Center programs include a monthly High Noon lecture and video series, a walking tour program (Hoof It with a Historian), fourteen traveling exhibits, partnerships with regional museums, schools, and businesses, and active participation in local events. The WHC displays six to seven exhibits annually, most based on original research. The Western Heritage Center publishes books, video materials, and education kits relating to regional history. The museum cares for 40,000 artifacts illustrating and documenting Yellowstone River Valley history. The museum is open to the public between early March and late December, Tuesday-Saturday, 10-5. The museum receives annual funding and support from Yellowstone County.
Western Heritage Center reviews
When we were there, we particularly enjoyed an exhibit by a western artist depicting women in ranch work at the turn of the century. (I did not make note of his name). Beautiful western art of...
When we were there, we particularly enjoyed an exhibit by a western artist depicting women in ranch work at the turn of the century. (I did not make note of his name). Beautiful western art of... more »
I really enjoyed the different displays My favorite was the one about the influencial women Montana 's past.
I really enjoyed the different displays My favorite was the one about the influencial women Montana 's past. more »
Very informative and some neat exhibits. I really like the exhibit on the Apsáalooke tribe and the video the had playing. While we were there they had an exhibit on various pandemics and the affects on the people of Billings. I do wish they had a little more on the history of the building but it was a nice stop downtown
Nice place to visit. We actually ended up here due to a Adventure Lab we were doing for Geocaching. Loved everything about this building.
Plan your trip to Billings
- Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
- Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
- Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.Know more
Popular things to do in Billings
Side trips from Billings
Hidden gems in Billings
Breweries & Distilleries in Billings
Nearby attractions in Billings
Nature in Billings
Trips in Western Heritage Center by other users
16 days in Southeast Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Kalispell Livingston Glendive 58 days in Montana & El Paso BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Billings Bozeman Gardiner 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM BELGIUM Denver Boulder Estes Park 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM BELGIUM Denver Boulder Estes Park 15 days in Billings BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Silver Run Trails Beartooth Hwy Rimrock Mall 59 days in Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Billings Red Lodge Bozeman