Miles City, Montana is the seat of Custer County. The city, which was incorporated in 1887, was named for the Army officer who subdued the Indians - Gen. Nelson Appleton Miles. The county was named for the Army officer who was subdued by the Indians - Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer.
Miles City and the area owes its start to the soldiers who carved civilization from the Eastern Montana plains, but it was the people's pioneer spirit that helped it prevail. That, and the much-chronicled cattle drives from Texas, along with the lifeblood of the railroad.
Today, Miles City is still a thriving center of commerce. It is the largest city in Southeastern Montana and the hub of activity for the region. Growth is evident in a steadily expanding business district and new medical campus, but the community remains true to its friendly, small-town atmosphere.
We like the pace a bit slower in these parts. Unless, of course, you happen to be here during the "World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale." Always the third weekend in May, this event - dubbed the "Cowboy Mardis Gras" - consists of three days of broncs being ridden and auctioned off, plus street dances in the "people corral" on Main Street and other western activities. Miles City's population of about 8,500 easily doubles with visitors from the states and abroad.
The Bucking Horse Sale is just one of many tributes to the area's lasting agriculture influence. Ranch and farm families are among the largest contributors to the local economy, and to the community's character.
Custer County has a beauty all its own. In many places, the prairie seems to stretch on forever, but we also have our breathtaking buttes, rolling hills and awe-inspiring badlands. The Yellowstone and Tongue rivers offer prime fishing and recreational opportunities. There's also no shortage of good habitat for big game hunting, particularly for whitetail and mule deer. In Miles City, you can easily spend a day roaming the Range Riders Museum and Custer County Art Center.
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