Usually, the Daly Mansion northeast of Hamilton has weekly local history sessions during the late winter and early spring on Saturday mornings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those gatherings are not happening. But the volunteer archivists and historians at the mansion keep finding new information about the mansion, Marcus Daly's family and the Bitterroot Stock Farm.

As a way to keep the flow of new information about Bitterroot Valley history going, the Daly Mansion board has started special self-guided tours, starting this week. Each month, a different theme will be displayed on the first and second floors of the mansion, with a general overview of the Daly properties on the third floor.

This month, the theme is "Mapping the Bitter Root Stock Farm." It includes rare documents of landscaping plans from 1910, homestead documents from 1876 and a way for you to see if your house is on what used to be Stock Farm property. It all comes together on the third floor, where new maps consolidate much of the property research that the volunteers have found. Along the second floor hallways are informational signs and photos from early ranches such as the Chaffin, Pendergast, Johnson and Gilcrest ranches.

Each month the tour themes change - February will be "The Daly Era by Design," which will deal with everything in the building from furniture, wallpaper and the plumbing and heating in the early days of the mansion. March will be "Introducing the Dalys," with rare correspondence and photos of Marcus and Margaret Daly's families and friends. In April, the self-guided tours conclude with "Then and Now," which details all the work that has been done and continues in restoration of the grand building.

To reserve a space in the "Daly" daily tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, call 363-6004. The cost is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and military, $8 for age 6-17, and free for age 5 and under. Masks are required inside the mansion and advance registration is required. When the gates are open, the Daly Mansion grounds are open until 4 p.m. and, as always, you can freely wander around on the lawns. The mansion is north of the Hamilton airport along the East Side Highway. Check more information the Daly Mansion website or their Facebook page.

display case
Daly Mansion 3rd floor display case. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

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