Custer to Columbia Falls (No. 102)
First Aired November 1, 1991
Since 1991, the Backroads crew has traveled across Montana visiting its unique people and places. The series airs regularly on MontanaPBS.
Backroads of Montana
(No. 102) Custer to Columbia Falls
Canoe, Little Big Horn, doorknobs, branding, Mission Mountain, hang-glide, Elkhorn, Garnet
This episode of Backroads introduces us to the craftsmanship of a canoe maker in Swan Lake, a forgotten soldier who fell at the Battle of the Little Big Horn near Hardin, a retired Columbia Falls teacher and her doorknob collection, cattle branding near Choteau, a visit to the ghost town of Elkhorn, the beauty of western Montana's Mission Mountains and a bird's-eye view of the Missoula valley from a hang-glider. The program originates from Garnet, Montana's best-preserved ghost town.
You can still buy a canoe from Grey Morley in Swan Lake. Sonya Tetlie, the Doorknob lady passed away a few years ago. And for the record, she didn’t really condone theft of doorknobs. Custer Battlefield is now officially known as the Little Big Horn Battlefield. That story started a trend of retelling of Montana history on Backroads – as you’ll see in coming episodes we found many fascinating tales to tell. Hang gliding and paragliding are still big sports in Missoula. We also started going on location in this episode. That trend would also continue – it’s a way for us to tell one more story while we’re introducing the others.