Elevation: 5020 FT
County: Sweet Grass
Located 20 miles north of Big Timber, Melville was named in 1877 for Colonel Melville, the arctic explorer. It is cow and sheep country, originally settled by Norwegians. It became the meeting place for Saturday night dances for miles around. Its reputation was, '...if you want to get out-fought, out-rode, or out-run, come to Melville.' The first Lutheran church in Montana was built here. In 1885, a hard-working, self-sufficient group of pioneers organized the first Lutheran Congregation in Montana. In November 1914, the little white church, complete with steeple and bell, was dedicated. Sermons were given until 1932 when it was voted that 'fewer' sermons be preached in Norwegian and that women could vote and hold church office. It is a beautiful white church backed by the magnificent Crazy Mountains and still holds services every Sunday - in English. Melville is a ranching community located along the Sweetgrass River. Melville provides supplies for the sheep camps in the Crazy Mountains and local ranches are renown for providing stock for western rodeos.