In case you're wondering what all the history buffs are whooping it up over...the great Montana historian Ken Robison is out with another book. I caught up with Ken Robison earlier this week during our live radio show from Great Falls.

Credit Ken Robison
Credit Ken Robison

I'll share the description from the publisher with you below, but here's what also stood out to me. Robison's book not only details the history of "Whoop-Up Country" and the history behind events like "Whoop-Up Days" in Conrad, Montana...he also gives us insight into why there are such strong cultural connections between Montanans and our friends north of the border in Alberta, Canada.

Here's the description from Arcadia Publishing:

Withdrawal of the mighty Hudson Bay Company from present-day Alberta and Saskatchewan created a lawless environment with new economic opportunities. A cross-border trading bond arose with growing steamboat mercantile center Fort Benton in Montana Territory. In 1870, Montana traders Johnny Healy and Al Hamilton moved across the Medicine Line and built Fort Whoop-Up. It established the two-hundred-mile Whoop-Up Trail from Fort Benton, through Blackfoot lands, to the Belly River near today’s Lethbridge. Over the next decade, the buffalo robe trade flourished with the Blackfoot, as did violence. The turmoil forced the creation of Canada’s North West Mounted Police, tasked with closing down the whiskey trade and evicting the Montana traders. Award-winning historian Ken Robison brings to life this dramatic story.


According to Arcadia Publishing, "Robison is historian at the Overholser Historical Research Center and for the Great Falls/Cascade County Historic Preservation Commission and is active in historic preservation throughout central Montana. He is a retired navy captain after a career in naval intelligence. The Montana Historical Society honored Ken as 'Montana Heritage Keeper' in 2010."

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