Welcome to the Utica, Montana Picture Tour

More than  any other Montana town, Utica is Charlie M. Russell country and much of the artist’s work bears memories of this area and its people. After spending a winter in 1881, with Jake Hoover, Russell decided to establish a little place of his own, so he picked out a homestead in Pagel Gulch above Utica.

A Picture is worth a Thousand Words

In Utica, Montana you can see the actual source of many of the cowboy sagas and tales that make up the romantic vision of the Old West.  Prepare to be underwhelmed initially, because every thing is so small.  You won’t see Ben Cartwright’s grand Ponderosa Ranch or Randolph Scott walking down the boardwalk as depicted on TV and in the movies.  What you will see is old and weathered buildings that show the wear and tear of over one hundred and thirty Montana winters.  To really appreciate this area you need to see Charlie M. Russell’s (1864–1926) work.  We provided links below, so folks new to C.M.R.’s work can see what life was like in Utica, Montana and the surrounding area during the early 1880’s.

In the Enemy’s Country, oil on canvas, 1921  (Can you see Square Butte & Crown Butte in the picture?)

Smoke of a .45, oil on canvas, 1908

a.ka. Freight Teams Leaving Fort Benton, oil on canvas, 1909   (Compare with modern Fort Benton.)

Loops And Swift Horses are Surer Than Lead, oil on canvas, 1916

Bronc to Breakfast, 1908, Watercolor on paper, 1908       (Click here to see 205 Paintings by C.M.R.)

Utica has a strong sense of itself, although it is just a tiny unincorporated town today.  A large part of that sense of the past is maintained and enhanced by the work of the Utica museum, the local historical society, and the town rod and gun club. Utica has a level of public interpretation that is rarely matched in a small Montana town.  Take some time, enjoy the quiet while reading all the carefully constructed historical markers along the street.

Utica From Highway 239

Downtown Utica