Book: Honky-Tonk Town

Who knew that little Havre, Montana could hold such big history? Gary Wilson, the resident historian there, has written a name-packed book about Havre's founding in the late 1800s, its heyday, and its eventual "reformation" as a civilized town in the 1940s. Wilson's book delves deep into those 50 years when Havre was a major outpost of boozing, partying, and general mischief. The accounts of the bootlegging operations between Havre and the Canadian border are extensive, and Wilson is a clear authority on the town's most infamous ringleader, Shorty Young.

Honky-Tonk Town: Havre Montana's Lawless Era is also a microcosmic study of conflict over social norms. On page 46, Wilson writes: "The old-fashioned virtues of the homesteaders and rural people were pitted against the "evil" city dwellers..." He was referring to the prohibition question in Havre during 1918, but he could have just as easily been talking about last month's election.

Regardless, Honky-Tonk Town will have you planning your next road trip to Havre, just so you can pay homage to some of the greatest partiers and wildest Western characters of the last hundred years.