Winner! The Writer's Cramp 8/12/21
Roundup on the Musselshell
I live in Roundup, Montana. The name comes from the original settlers in this part of the state. The cattlemen here thought the geography was conducive to ‘rounding up’ cattle. So the name stuck.
When we lived in Gardiner, Montana and were interested in retiring, my husband and I investigated several areas in Montana. We liked Big Timber and Three Forks, or any area with mountains nearby. But for some reason, God kept directing us to Roundup. So we now live in Roundup, Montana.
Roundup is in Musselshell County, which takes its name from the Musselshell River. The Musselshell River was named by Lewis and Clark back in the early 1800s. Mussel shells were found in the river at that time. The museum in Roundup has examples of those shellfish.
Roundup itself has morphed from a mainly cattle area to coal mining to ranching to oil and gas production to an economy now driven by coal, ranching, farming, oil, and gas. Billings, the largest city in Montana, is an hour’s drive south of the city. Many citizens find the commute easy and enjoy the rural life. There is an excellent school, a wide variety of churches, two grocery stores, a library, a small hospital, and an active volunteer population. Roundup truly is a growing town with much to offer. Recently AARP chose Roundup as one of their ‘Age Friendly’ cities. I am a member of a volunteer organization that is partnering with AARP to make Roundup a better place for older citizens to live.
I like living here because I can walk or bike anywhere. I can walk to the stores, to the post office, to church, to the library, or just walk for exercise. There is a riverwalk by the Musselshell River that is a great green space. We also have a free community pool open to anyone, along with a city park and city stage. We enjoy living in Roundup. The mountains are within driving distance. God knew what He was doing when He sent us here.
The name ‘Roundup’ to me embodies the very spirit of the West. It envisions the old cowboys, the rodeos, the cattle, and a way of life that has all but disappeared.