Madison Valley History Museum

The Madison Valley History Museum is an excellent example of citizens working to preserve the history of their community before it is gone. ┬áThe mission of the Madison Valley Museum & History Association is “to develop a museum to house and preserve collections of artifacts, tapes, photographs and stories of historical importance to the Madison Valley and interpret them through display and education.” ┬áA generous bequest of funds and land from local residents allowed the association to make the museum a reality. ┬áWhen the old Madison Valley Clinic building was being replaced by a new, modern facility, it was given to the MVHA and ┬ámoved to the MVHA property four miles west of Ennis. ┬áThis became the new home of the MVHA Museum. ┬áThe museum features a working blacksmith shop that was originally used on Main Street in Ennis. ┬áThe shop was the business of Otto Coss and Oscar Angle and was founded in the late 1800’s.

An even more famous display is the actual mount of the wolf-like creature known as┬áthe “ringdocus” or “shunka warak’in” – two of the names it has been given over the years. ┬áThis beast strongly resembles a wolf, but has a hyena-like sloping back and an odd-shaped head with a narrow snout. Its coat is dark-brown, with lighter tan areas and a light stripes on its side. ┬áThis “monster”┬áprowled the Madison Valley in the 1880’s, killing livestock and letting out screams that left a personÔÇÖs hair standing on end. ┬áThe creature was finally shot by ┬áI. A. HutchinsÔÇÖ and triggered stories of the creature that were passed along through generations of family history and folklore.

The Madison Valley museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 1:00-4:00 every summer from  Memorial Day weekend through September.

Madison Valley History Museum
447 State Highway 287 South
Ennis, MT 59729

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