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Joplin Turns 100

In a continuing effort to update Bugle readers about summer festivities in and around the Treasure State, the Lifestyle Editor will occasionally announce upcoming events appropriate for the enjoyment of the whole family.


Photo by Karen Johnson-McWilliams

On June 19th, over in eastern Liberty County, the municipality of Joplin, Montana, “The Biggest Little Town On Earth”, will kick off it’s Centennial Celebration with a dance and buffet dinner at the Community Hall. The Theme for the summer-long celebration will be “Welcome Back To Joplin”.  Everyone is invited. Admission to the event will be $5 or $15 per family. The admission price includes the scrumptious buffet dinner as well as dancing ’til 1:30 to the likes of Joplin’s own Ditchriders and the Rick Miller Family Band. You can purchase advanced tickets by calling 292-3325 or stopping by Wood Enterprises in Joplin.  Tickets will also be available at the door. Doors open at 6:30.

For those of you who don’t remember where Joplin is located, or maybe you sneezed when you passed through town and missed the entire metropolitan area, Joplin is conveniently situated just off of Highway 2 between Chester and Inverness. The bustling hamlet first got it’s post office in 1910 when Joseph Rehal became the first postmaster. The Joplin school was closed in 2005 after the town consolidated with Chester and Inverness to form a single district. Current popluation is about 184 hardy souls.

I ran across this quote from Joplin expatriate Karen Johnson-McWilliams that seems appropriate to share.

Downtown Joplin, Montana

Downtown Joplin, Montana

In the quiet dusty streets, I can relive incidents with very little new to jar them. In an age of too much change, I can know that my roots go deep and remain strong, tied to a people not easily blighted by hardships, barrenness, and reverses. It’s a comfort stronger perhaps because of my absence from Joplin’s daily trivialities and trials. It’s a sense of home that stays with me however far I wander from Joplin.

I think that pretty much sums it up for many of us who feel a sense of comfort when we are able to return to those little prairie towns that hold our roots deep in the soil. So, if you get a chance this summer, drop by Joplin and congratulate all the folks there on keeping Joplin alive for 100 years. Stop in at Bill’s Big Sky Husky for a hot cup of Joe and some delicious pie. Spend some time with the locals, talk about the drought with the farmers and lament the many places like Joplin that have disappeared from the Montana landscape over the last century.



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