Location: Southeastern Montana on US Highway 12; 81 miles east of Miles City, 12 miles from the North Dakota border. Population: 1740. Visitor Information: www.falloncounty.net
Founded in the open range cattle country of eastern Montana in 1908, Baker was developed by Milwaukee Railroad workers and homesteaders. Natural gas was discovered in 1915 and oil production picked up in the 1960s and 70s.
The O’Fallon Historical Museum illustrates prairie life in a tarpaper homestead house, the Duffield homestead house and Lambert house, all containing everyday items from the early 1900s. Built in1916, the Fallon County Jail is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains military artifacts from World War I and II. It is also home to a taxidermy mount of the largest steer in the world; known as Steer Montana, he weighed almost two tons and dwarfs his astounded visitors. There is also a trading post, barbershop, parlor, dress shop of mannequins modeling the story of early fashion, camera/photography room and a building full of original farm equipment, including a wooden 1900 Yellow Fellow thrashing machine and 1927 Model T truck. Located at 723 South Main, admission to the museum is free.
Baker provides year round recreation including fishing at Baker Lake, hunting, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Visitors can also get directions to tipi rings and wagon train trails at the O’Fallon Historical Museum.
Just 25 miles south of Baker, Medicine Rocks State Park offers free camping among the fabulously carved honeycomb sandstone formations that inspired Teddy Roosevelt to write it was “as fantastically beautiful a place as I have ever seen." Laid down over 60 million years ago beneath an estuary of the inland sea, the wildly sculpted stone is rich in fossils of sea turtles and palm trees. Regarded as extremely sacred by local Plains tribes, the area has been inhabited for at least 11,000 years.