Operated by the local chamber of commerce (and perhaps a little too cutely named), the Charlie Russell Chew-Choo Dinner Train (tel. 866/912-3980 or 406/535-5436; www.montanacharlierussellchewchoo.com) runs from Lewistown to Denton and back every Saturday from the beginning of June through the end of September, with special holiday trains. On the 56-mile round-trip ride, the train crosses three large trestles and navigates a 2,000-foot tunnel during its 3 1/2-hour run through the Judith Basin. The schedule varies, so call ahead. A regular summer trip with dinner is $90 per adult, $50 for children 12 and under.
The Central Montana Museum, next to the Lewistown Chamber of Commerce in Symmes Park at 408 NE Main St. (tel. 406/535-3642), displays historical artifacts from the late 1800s to modern day, including a facial reconstruction of Rattlesnake Jake, an outlaw who shot the town up on July 4, 1884, before being gunned down himself. The museum is open daily in summer from 10am to 4pm and by appointment the rest of the year. Admission is free; donations accepted.
Big Spring, located 7 miles south of Lewistown on County Road 466, is the third-largest freshwater spring in the world. The spring is the water source for the town, and is considered one of the purest in the nation. It is bottled by the Big Spring Water Company and sold at stores in the west-central part of the U.S. The spring also feeds the Montana State Fish Hatchery nearby.
Lewistown became a regional commercial center after a ranching and mining boom in the early part of the 20th century. The industry barons built large homes in a range of styles, primarily Gothic and Victorian. The first to build was J. T. Wunderlin, a gold miner and organizer of the Empire Bank & Trust. Others soon followed, creating a neighborhood of elegant homes. They lived in the Silk Stocking District, which is just northeast of downtown on Boulevard. (Not the section of Boulevard near Symmes Park; if you're there, you're lost.) The Lewistown Chamber of Commerce can provide information on self-guided tours. The homes, however, are private residences and not open to the public. At 220 W. Blvd., there is a plaque outside the Symmes-Wicks House describing the area. At the top of the hill overlooking the Silk Stocking District, check out the Fergus County Courthouse (7th Ave. and Main St.), a gold-domed mission-style courthouse built in 1906.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.