Parents, don't be mad at us for encouraging your kids to play in the mud. It's an educational thing going on.

And besides, you want to play in the mud, too, right? C'mon, admit it! And best of all it's somebody else's mud, so you won't have to worry about a big mess left over in your yard. Of course, how much mud gets tracked into your car and house is your responsibility.

Fort Owen State Park in Stevensville and Friends of Fort Owen are hosting a "Mud Party" event this coming Saturday, September 18, from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. There is a free event and everyone is invited for an afternoon of hands-on activities. And we do mean hands-on. Or maybe hands-in.

The day's activities are related to the adobe bricks that are a unique part of the park’s history. The free public event will include education stations that focus on the art and science of making adobe bricks, a rare building material in Montana. Meet soil scientists and adobe and historic preservation experts, and even try building an adobe brick yourself! Visitors will also find information about Major John Owen's life and his role in building the fort and its adobe walls in the 1850s.

While you're there it might be a good time to explore the exhibits. Fort Owen State Park is the site of many "firsts" in Montana history and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was home to Montana's first Catholic church and the state's first sawmill, first grist mill, first agricultural development, first water right and the first school for settlers.

Period furnishings and artifacts are displayed in the restored rooms of the east barracks. Take your time to browse the interpretive signs and exhibits that detail the state park's history. Check out more info on the park here.


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