Western Heritage Museum
The Western Heritage Center is a regional museum located in the Historic District in downtown Billings, Montana. This museum used to be the Parmly Billings Memorial Library. Built in 1901, the library turned museum houses a collection of artifacts about the history of the Yellowstone RiverValley.
The Western Heritage Center is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum opened in 1971 after a organized group of concerned citizens prevented the building from meeting the wrecking ball and being turned into a parking lot.
The Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can still see the original furniture, draperies, carpets and fixtures during a one-hour guided tour. Seasonal exhibits are also featured. The Moss Mansion was designed by the famous New York City architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, who also designed the original Waldorf-Astoria, Plaza Hotel, The Dakota, Williard Hotel, and Copely Hotel.
Yellowstone Art Museum
The Yellowstone Art Center (now the Yellowstone Art Museum, or YAM) opened in October 1964 in the former Yellowstone County Jail. The construction of the county jail in 1884 was the first act of the newly instituted Yellowstone County government. It began as a small red brick structure. The partial basement of the jail functioned as storage, while the upper two floors served as cell blocks. In 1916, the county constructed additions to the west and north. In spite of Montana’s location in the Wild West, only one hanging, in 1918, is known to have taken place at the Yellowstone County Jail