For thousands of years before The Corps of Discovery passed through, bands of American Indians spent summer months hunting game and gathering roots and berries in this valley. Tribes migrated to the plentiful valley from all directions, and when the weather cooled, they migrated back to their homelands.
When the Gold Rush began, a man from Georgia named John Bozeman lead people through the valley and up to Virginia City, in the hopes of striking it rich! Mining for gold was hard work, and all that hard work required food and drink. John Bozeman, Daniel Rouse, and William Beall plotted Bozeman in 1864, knowing they could farm the rich soil and provide goods to the miners. When the gold ran out in Virginia City, the town of Bozeman continued to thrive. Farming and the selling of goods and services helped many of the pioneers prosper. Soon more people were settling, starting anew, and succeeding.
By 1868, Achilles Lamme and his family had settled in Bozeman, constructed three buildings along Main Street, and started several stores. One of these buildings still stands today. John Mendenhall partnered with Lamme in the business arena, and became the first sheriff of Bozeman. Emma and Lester Willson came to Montana in 1869. Their only surviving child, Fred Willson, became one of the most prolific architects of the time. Nelson Story drove the first cattle into Montana and became the state’s first millionaire. Jacob Spieth and Charles Krug, immigrants from Germany, started the first brewery in Bozeman in 1867, right on Main Street. The brewery came to be known as Union Hall. The name of this establishment was chosen to honor the spirit of the pioneers who made Bozeman a town.
Through the years Bozeman built a fort, founded a state college, made certain the Northern Pacific railway came through, and continued to create reasons for people to move to Montana. One such person was Bertha Gonder. Bertha left Kentucky in 1914 after the death of her husband, with nine children and the idea of opportunity. She worked for The Northern Pacific Railroad until retirement in 1959, and was at one time the only woman working for the Railroad in all of America. Hence the name, Bold Bertha Stout, for one of our flagship beers. Many others with pioneering spirit, the will to succeed, and the need for new opportunity helped turn Bozeman into a community.
So whatever the reason you’ve arrived, whether it be food, land, work, love, an education, recreation or any combination thereof, we welcome you to sit down, stay for a bit, and have a beer and a bite to eat. You might end up becoming a Bozemanite, if you aren’t already. The owners are two East Coast boys who came to Montana to ski for a bit, but fell in love with two Montana gals. And the rest is history….