Montana has always had character. While many view The Treasure State as a rough and tumble place filled with cowboys, cattle, rodeos, and wildlife, Montana is also home to high-tech industry, excellent universities, and many modern amenities.

Some would say that Montana is the perfect combination of old versus new. Sure, some folks aren't big fans of the more modern Montana, but the good news is there is still plenty of Big Sky Country deep-rooted into the good old days.

We still have some places around the state that are older than the state itself.

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For those wondering, Montana became the 41st state back on November 8th, 1889, and while we're still less than 150 years old, there are a few Montana businesses that were established long before that.

Which business is Montana's oldest?

While it shouldn't come as a big surprise the oldest business in Montana happens to be a saloon. Montanans are known for their love of getting together and having a drink or two and as you travel around the state, you'll come across several bars and watering holes that have served locals for decades.

Before we reveal the oldest business and bar in Montana, let's look at some of the best dive bars in the state.

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Gallery Credit: Jesse James

While places like Kenyon Noble and Owenhouse Ace Hardware in Bozeman have been around for over a hundred years, and the Pekin Noodle Parlor in Butte is America's oldest Chinese Restaurant, the oldest business in Montana is located in Virginia City and has been in business since 1863.

According to a website that decided to look at each state's oldest operating business, The Bale Of Hay Saloon takes top honors in Montana.

Credit: Bale Of Hay Saloon Facebook Page
Credit: Bale Of Hay Saloon Facebook Page

The Bale of Hay Saloon started as the J.F. Stoer Saloon and underwent a name change back in the late 1890s to The Bale Of Hay Saloon. There was a period that the building sat empty, but back in the late 1940s the place re-opened and has been going strong since.

The Saloon is always a popular stop during the summer months as folks travel to Virginia City, so the next time you're in the area, take a seat and enjoy a little Montana history.

5 Of Montana's Best Road Trips

For those looking to hit the highway, Montana has over 70 thousand miles of open road and many of those roads lead to some of the most beautiful places in the world. If you love a good road trip and want to spend time with family or friends, here are 5 of the best Montana road trips.

Gallery Credit: Derek Wolf

The Most "Montana" Towns In Montana

If you're looking for the best that Montana has to offer, you might want to start by asking a local and that is exactly what we did. We wanted to know which Montana towns were the most "Montana" and who better to ask than the folks who were born and raised in The Treasure State?

Gallery Credit: Derek Wolf


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