Harvest Day 2016

Interstate 90 is abuzz with summer traffic on the afternoon of July 16. A modern medley of sleek sedans and robust RVs rushes past the hills of Greycliff Creek Ranch — oblivious to the historic display not far from their meandering course. 

Fifty yards away, two black draft horses pull a wagon full of youngsters down an old ranch road.

 Many of the girls are clad in brightly colored dresses, each garment cut modestly, covering them down to the ankle. Their long locks are done up in pairs of French braids and not a lick of makeup adorns their cheeks. It’s as if they were summoned straight from the 1800s. 

But they’re not just visions of history — they’re part of a group committed to living it out. 

Homestead Heritage is a Christian community, dedicated to a simpler way of life in the Anabaptist tradition. Six families moved from the group’s parent location in Waco, Texas, to Montana last year. Some of the members opened the doors to Big Timber Bakery, while others joined an already established timber framing company, Heritage Restorations. 

The women are easily recognizable in their simple and modest attire. But rather than sequester themselves, members say they want to be a part of local society. In fact, that’s exactly what last weekend’s Harvest Day was all about.

More than 200 attended the evening meal and upwards of 100 visitors toured the ranch during the day, event organizer Matt Brandstadt said.

To read the full story, pick up the July 21 edition of the Pioneer or subscribe to our e-edition. Current subscribers are provided complimentary access to the e-edition with registration.

Story and photos by Mackenzie Reiss / Pioneer Staff Writer