Events » Hoof-it with a Historian

Discover Billings! Join our walking tours of historic Billings locations. Tours run about one hour twenty minutes and require comfortable walking shoes. These popular tours will interest both long-time Billings residents and visitors alike!

Tours are scheduled for each Friday morning at 10:00 am May-October. Custom times are available by request. Contact us at 406-256-6809 for more information.

Tickets are available at the time of the walk: $10 for adults, $5 for students, children (under 12) are free (up to 2 per paying adult).

Bars, Brothels, and Bok Choy: Exploring Minnesota Avenue
(10:00 am; begins at WHC) 
May 4 • June 27 (6:00 pm) • July 20 • September 7

Before the skate park and businesses, Billings’ Southside was filled with bars, brothels and even a Chinatown. We’ll wander the remnants of these establishments and bring back to life the stories of these large, and almost forgotten, communities.

Born a Railroad Town
(10:00 am; begins at WHC) 
May 11 • July 13 • August 29 (6:00 pm) • September 14

Born a railroad town, Billings’ developed was along the tracks before growing outside of downtown. This tour will explore the founding of Billings and explain why the city is shaped the way that it is.

The Writing on the Wall 
(10:00 am; begins at WHC) 
May 18 • September 28

Everyday we pass historic painted signs on our downtown buildings. We see the shops, hotels, attractions and products they advertise. On this downtown walk, you’ll learn how and why the signs were painted and hear the stories behind Billings’ most notable painted “ghost signs”. 

Swords Rimrock Park
(10:00 am; begins at Sword’s Rimrock Park - call for directions)
May 25 • July 6 • October 5
Take a break from your routine and celebrate Billings’ magnificent Rimrocks with a stroll along the east end of Swords Rimrock Park. Enjoy Billings’ most visible parkland, just east of the airport, learning about Crow Indian historic sites and Yellowstone Kelly’s gravesite.

Historic Homes of Billings’ Builders 
(10:00 am; begins at the corner of Division Street and Clark Avenue) 
May 30 (6:00 pm) • June 1 • August 3

Still some of the most beautiful residences in town, Clark and Yellowstone Avenues were home to Billings’ most influential business and civic leaders. Glimpse Billings’ early years through the homes that undoubtedly witnessed big business deals, political strategizing, and early civic planning. We will explore the stunning architecture and share stories of the legendary residents who called them home.

The Southsiders 
(10:00 am; begins South Side Senior Center - 901 S. 30th Street)
June 8 • October 12

Explore the rich history of the south side! On this tour, we’ll look at the remnants of Billings’ railroad beginnings, see the influence of the sugar beet factory and learn about the role of South Park in our community. 

Hidden in Plain Sight
(10:00 am; begins at WHC)
June 15 • August 10

Explore the details of downtown with local historian, Joyce Jensen. She’ll point out historic points of interest, architectural details, and tell historic stories of Billings that will surprise you.

Then and Now: Picturing Billings 
(10:00 am; begins at the Billings Depot) 
June 22 • July 25 (6:00 pm) • October 26

Take a trip back in time as we explore downtown Billings and the WHC archive side-by-side. Inspect historic photos of existing structures, identify lost buildings, and feel what life was like in the Billings of the past. This tour includes digital components - bring your tablet/smartphone if you wish!

McKinley School and the North Elevation Neighborhood
(10:00 am; begins at the corner of 9th and 32nd, near McKinley School)
July 27 • August 31 • September 21

Take a walk with us through Yellowstone County’s first National Register residential district! We’ll explore the history and development of the North Elevation neighborhood and learn about the many architectural treasurers it holds. 

Walking Tour of MetraPark and County Fairgrounds 
(11:00 am; begins at fairgrounds gate, culminates with a free pass to the fair)
August 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

For 100 years we’ve celebrated at the county fairgrounds on the east end of downtown. Join a historian for stories about Billings’ Bison Kill, Sacrifice Cliff, and the several historic fairground buildings. Each tour includes a fair entry ticket. Space is limited; please call 256-6809 for reservations.

Grave Side Stories
(10:00 am; begins at Mountview Cemetery - call for directions)
June 29 • August 24 • September 26 (6:00 pm) • October 19

Join us for a walk through Billings’ Mountview cemetery located on Central Avenue. We’ll look at the original layout of Billings’ first cemetery, hear some of our past citizens stories, and view the historic mausoleum.