The Frontier Gateway Museum teaches visitors about the history of eastern Montana, with a variety of exhibits ranging from the prehistoric era to the Civil War to the turn of the century.
Dawson County, Montana has a rich history behind it, going all the way back to the prehistoric era when dinosaurs walked the earth. The Frontier Gateway Museum in Glendive, Montana focuses on preserving many parts of this history and sharing historical exhibits with its visitors, aiming to inform them about how the area came to be what it is today.
Telling the story of eastern Montana
Gregory Hagenston is agency principal at Hagenston Agency in Glendive, and he was also elected President of the Board of Directors of the Frontier Gateway Museum in April 2023. The employees of Hagenston Agency support a variety of nonprofits, and Hagenston’s passion for the history of Montana in particular has driven further support for the Frontier Gateway Museum.
The agency was instrumental in funding and developing the Talking Trail project for the museum, which is an interactive attraction that provides further details on various exhibits through the use of a mobile app. Employees of Hagenston Agency even helped write the scripts for some of the recordings that were used as part of the project.
Many topics throughout history are covered by the museum, including dinosaurs, early Native American tribes, the Yellowstone River, fur trappers, the journeys of Lewis and Clark, the development of railroads and early businesses that were built when settlers arrived in the area.
Offering personal contributions
The Frontier Gateway Museum paints a picture of eastern Montana through numerous exhibits and a huge library of archived information. Gregory Hagenston has made a variety of contributions himself; his personal collection of dinosaur bones and other late Cretaceous-era fossils have been donated to the museum, greatly enhancing their fossil exhibit. Additionally, he has written multiple books about the founding of Makoshika State Park in Glendive, which will soon be leading to a new exhibit focused on the founder of this park.
“Our community of Glendive has generously supported the museum since its opening in the 1960s, and Hagenston Agency is proud to be carrying on that support into 2023 and onward.”
—Gregory Hagenston, agency principal at Hagenston Agency and president of the Board of Directors at Frontier Gateway Museum
Contributions from organizations and businesses like Hagenston Agency are crucial in keeping the Frontier Gateway Museum operational. “Our museum does not charge an admission fee, ensuring anyone has access to learning information about the rich history of Dawson County,” said Shanon Hellman, a curator at the museum. “The funding for our schoolhouse renovation, old-time general store and many other exhibits was made possible through grants and donations.”
Expansions for a better experience
Visitors from all over the world come to the Frontier Gateway Museum, in part because it’s one of fourteen museums on the Montana Dinosaur Trail. Thus, maintenance to keep the museum in good shape for all these visitors is of the utmost importance. There are long-range plans for expanding the museum; they intend to bring in an architect to help work on developments that will enhance the experience for visitors.
“Our museum does not charge an admission fee, ensuring anyone has access to learning information about the rich history of Dawson County.”
—Shanon Hellman, curator at the Frontier Gateway Museum
None of these expansions would be possible without contributions from those who care about the history of Montana. “Our community of Glendive has generously supported the museum since its opening in the 1960s,” said Hagenston. “And Hagenston Agency is proud to be carrying on that support into 2023 and onward.”