Lisa Olmsted

Operations Director, Western Heritage Center

Tel: (406) 256-6809, Ext. 121




Mark Johnson, of the University of Notre Dame, to speak on Chinese history in Montana at Western Heritage Center


BILLINGS, Montana — The first Chinese workers came to Montana on the heels of the Bannack and Virginia City gold rushes. While Chinese immigrants were key to Montana’s early development, the 1870 territorial census did not list most of them by name as it did other residents, recording them simply as “Chinaman.” Chinese pioneers faced intense discrimination and their stories and history are often difficult to reconstruct. Professor Mark Johnson of the University of Notre Dame will talk about how these immigrants maintained ties to family and China, while trying to earn a living in Montana in his talk, “Becoming Chinese in Montana.” Johnson, a native of Great Falls, who spent over a decade teaching in Shanghai, China, will delve into the specifics of the lives and details of Chinese residents in Montana who once made over 10% of the territorial population. Join us at the Western Heritage Center on Friday evening, April 7 at 6 p.m. The event is free and the second of new evening programs at the Western Heritage Center.

This event is partially supported by the DoubleTree by Hilton.

For more information, please contact operations director, Lisa Olmsted at, or call 406-256-6809, x121.