In 1997 State of Montana purchased the Bovey collection and its accumulation of historic structures which formed”Old Town,” one of the most prominent living history sites of the west.

The site was purchased with the promise that it would be self-sustaining as a business, in which the Montana Historical Commission has turned into an institution which teaches the next generation of historic preservation, museum, archaeology, and public history professionals while providing visitors with unique experiences.

The MHC has since teamed with educational partners in New Hampshire and Vermont and received its first Save Our History grant which explores historic places, structures, documents, and life ways and links students in the East and West through commons stories.