Little Bighorn and Big Little Boise

Last Stand Hill at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana

Little Bighorn Battlefield 

Most people have never heard of Crow Agency, Montana. But they’ve sure heard of the battle that took place there.

Crow Agency is the headquarters of the Crow tribe and 1,600 of its people. The Crow did not fight in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, better known as Custer’s Last Stand. But today, people flock to this out-of-the-way town to see the sacred ground where the U.S. Cavalry (and detachments from the Army) and the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne tribes came together in June of 1876, in a battle that still resonates.

When the smoke cleared on this battlefield—where the headstrong Gen. George Armstrong Custer had been warned the Indians were gathering for an ambush—all 263 U.S. soldiers were killed, including Custer, and countless Sioux and Cheyenne also died. This battle marked one of the final efforts of the Northern Plains Indians to preserve their way of life.
Today, in the museum at the site, groups can view field glasses used by a Cavalry officer; Indian necklaces made of pony teeth; an Army-issued brass spur; a bridle ornament with the raised letters “U.S.”; and an Indian hammer with a stone head, used as a weapon in this battle.

At Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, attendees can walk on sacred grounds. The wind seems to whisper with the echoes of what happened there, and the names and faces of those who fought—and died—on the grounds. The wind is now the only sound that is heard.

big little Boise

Big Little Boise

Boise has the best of both worlds—the friendliness and charm of a small town and the amenities of a larger one. In fact, this city of 206,000 (677,000 in the metro area) is a fascinating place to explore because it’s full of surprises.

One of the biggest surprises may be that it’s a great place to hold a meeting. It’s a compact city and a great walking town, and very easy to get around. It’s also a safe city and the museums are excellent. The downtown area has interesting restaurants with new ones opening regularly, and because of the city’s growing reputation as a foodie hot spot, creative young chefs are moving there from elsewhere in the country.

For attendees who have an appetite for big-time sports, Boise State University—widely considered America’s Cinderella college football team for the past 15 years—can certainly fill that appetite. In addition, the university is a center for the visual and performing arts.

Of interest to meeting planners is the fact that a $47.5 million renovation of Boise Centre (pictured) was just unveiled. It’s doubled in size from 40,000 to 80,000 sq. ft., and can now handle gatherings of up to 1,000, twice as many as before. It’s within walking distance of five hotels, 700 guest rooms and more than 100 restaurants. In addition, it’s the centerpiece of a downtown renaissance planned by city officials.

Further Reading:

Thrilling Adventures in Big Sky Country