Museum History

The Yellowstone County Museum was founded in 1953 by the Yellowstone Historical Society, Parmly Billings Library, the Pioneers of Eastern Montana, Yellowstone County, and the City of Billings. The McCormick Cabin was moved the current location in 1954. The museum opened to the public in 1956.

The Paul McCormick cabin serves as the museum’s entrance and gift shop. The YCM houses over 23,000 artifacts in 5,000 square feet of space. Exhibits are rotated regularly.

Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick

Transporting the cabin in 1954

Transporting the cabin in 1954

The McCormick Cabin

The McCormick Cabin was once home to a pioneer family in the early days of Billings. Paul McCormick built the cabin in 1893 for his family. The log cabin was a center for festive gatherings and Thanksgiving dinners, holding anywhere between 60-70 guests.

The house later became the home of Paul’s nephew, Will McCormick, until 1931 when it was acquired by the Elliott family. In 1947 Mrs. Nellie Elliot sold the cabin to the YWCA. The McCormick property was later sold to Socony Vacuum Oil, who offered the cabin back to the Billings community for use as a museum. The cabin was moved to its current post across from the Billings Airport and has faithfully watched over the Yellowstone Valley since 1956. The cabin serves as the entrance into the Yellowstone County Museum, offering up a slice of Billings history before you even walk through its door.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Yellowstone County Museum is to collect, preserve, research, and interpret the natural history and diverse cultures of the Yellowstone Valley of Montana and the Northern Plains. We share this legacy through a full range of exhibits and educational programs for the enrichment of the cultural and intellectual life of our community.