Charles M. Bair came to Montana in 1883 as a conductor on the Northern Pacific Railroad and went into the ranching business in 1893. He established his fortune in the Alaskan Gold Rush and went on to invest in mining, oil and real estate along with his ranching interests. Bair became one of the largest sheep owners in the world, at one time running as many as 300,000 heads. He counted among his friends Charlie Russell, Joseph Henry Sharp, Tom Mix, Will Rogers, William Hart, Chief Plenty Coups, and many U.S. Presidents.
It was the wish of Charlie Bair’s daughters that their home be left as a museum for others to enjoy. The house is a rich repository of Indian artifacts, paintings by renowned artists such as Russell and Sharp, and some of the finest period antiques.
Charles Bair purchased the ranch in 1913, and it became the family’s permanent residence in 1934 after remodeling the old John Grant ranch house. They continued to add to the residence until it consisted of 26 rooms, filled with the antiques and paintings collected by Charlie’s daughters, Alberta and Marguerite, on their many trips to Europe.
Charles Bair collected Native American artifacts and western paintings while his daughters amassed Louis XV furniture, Scottish china, Sevres pottery, English silver, and a collection of the late French Impressionist paintings by Edouard Cortes. The contrasts and immense abundance of antiques and fine art from all over the world located through this Montana ranch house will absolutely astonish you. This is easily one of Montana’s most captivating sites.
Source: Museum brochure