The Extreme History Project of Bozeman

“History isn’t pretty.” That’s the motto of Bozeman’s Extreme History Project, a nonprofit dedicated to sharing all the shady, messy, and surprising details of Montana and Western history. Based in Bozeman since 2012, this passionate, eclectic group is involved in a wide array of projects both locally and around the state. If you’re visiting Bozeman at any time of year, chances are there will be an opportunity to learn more about Bozeman and Montana through the Extreme History Project lens. Here’s what you need to know.

What is The Extreme History Project?

Founded in 2012, the Extreme History Project’s mission is to “make history relevant” through exhibits, lectures, book clubs, social events and more. They believe that understanding the unvarnished truth of the past is critical to generating social change and helping to share that truth with the public by finding ways to show us that the humanities can be fascinating and fun. If you’re interested in learning something new from the Extreme History Project, here are some of the ways you can get involved:


Exhibits & Events

If you’re visiting Bozeman, it’s a great idea to check out the Extreme History Project’s website to find out about current exhibits and events. Their current exhibit, around the theme of “dark history,” is called “Illuminating the Shadowed World of Bozeman’s Red Light District,” which is fitting because the EHP’s new building actually used to be a brothel. This exhibit runs through spring 2024, and if you want more of a deep-dive experience, tours are offered several times a week. You should also head over to the Extreme History Project’s Facebook page, where you can find out about other history-related events and opportunities, like this Cemetery Symbolism Workshop presented by the EHP in partnership with other Montana historical organizations. 



Historic Walking Tours

The Extreme History Project’s historic walking tours are a wonderful way to learn about Bozeman from a completely unique angle. Past tours have explored Bozeman’s historic China alley, the Gallagator Trail, and the work of prominent local architect Fred Willson. Their regular tour season begins Memorial Day weekend and ends on Labor Day, but you can also book a private tour for a small group (at a very affordable price) during the off-season. Check their Eventbrite page for updates on when tours open for the season. 


The Dirt on the Past Podcast

Join Montana State University anthropology professor Nancy Mahoney and EHP director Crystal Alegria as they interview a wide array of experts and learn the fascinating history of Bozeman, its residents and the surrounding area. Recent topics include childbirth in early Montana, the new prequel to the hit show “Yellowstone,” called “1883,” and the genetic history of the Americas. 


Extreme History Online Book Club

You don’t have to live in Montana to get involved in this one. Each month, participants discuss a book related to Montana and Western history and hop on a Zoom meeting to discuss it. It’s easy and free to register. Click here for the list of 2024 titles.



It’s tough to list all of the ways that the Extreme History Project is furthering its mission to bring history to the masses, but it’s easy to see that you’ll want to be involved. If you’re headed to Bozeman, be sure to check out what this dynamic group is up to and whether you can participate and learn something from them before, during, and after your trip. 


There’s always more to explore in Bozeman. Check out our travel blog to find out what’s new in the Gallatin Valley and start planning your trip today at


If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:


New Call-to-action


In our never-ending quest to keep up with all things new in Bozeman, we have been producing content for years and can't possibly update every blog when new businesses open or existing businesses close. Please reference the publish date and do your own due diligence when making plans.

Back to Blog