Nestled in the heart of the Jefferson River Valley is the iconic Round Barn that has stood since 1882. It has been home to many race horses, dairy cows and even more Hereford bulls. It is most well known for being the home to the famous race horse, Spokane, who was the only race horse to come from Montana to win the Kentucky Derby.
The Round Barn at Twin Bridges, Montana was built with three floors, an automatic windmill-driven water system, feeding chutes, an indoor track, and stalls for 24 thoroughbreds opening directly out to their individual paddocks. Noah Armstrong's horse, Lord Raglan took third place in the 1883 Kentucky Derby, and Spokane, born in the Round Barn, won the 1889 Kentucky Derby. Spokane's record setting time for the 1 1/2 mile Derby still stands as the race was shortened to 1 ¼ mile in 1896. To learn more about Noah Armstrong and Spokane, please visit www.glendalemontana.com.
Beyond Spokane, the Kentucky Derby has another connection to the Jefferson Valley. Colonel Meriweather Lewis Clark, Jr. established the Kentucky Derby in 1875. It was his grandfather, William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, who had named the river the Jefferson. For an article about Lewis and Clark in the valley which includes a photograph of Twin Bridges' statue of Sacagawea, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_River.
In 1933, the Doncaster Ranch and its Round Barn were bought by the Bayers family of Montana. They brought their purebred Hereford cattle and bulls to the Jefferson Valley. Auctions at the Round Barn sold their cattle into 38 states and even to Hungary and Africa over the course of 50 years.
In 2015 the Round Barn was thoughtfully renovated and restored to accommodate your wedding or event. The tiered, wedding cake style of the exterior was maintained; in addition, a weathervane was returned to the cupola modeled after portraits of Spokane. Inside the Barn, ceilings were opened up to maximize light and reveal the beauty of the structure. Lighting, restrooms, dressing rooms, a large catering kitchen, as well as outdoor cooking area, bar area, and audio/visual equipment were added. These amenities in addition to the existing character and history of The Round Barn will give you and your guests a lifetime of memories.