Thomas LaForge was a white Crow scout with the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars under Lt. Col. George Custer. Lucky for him, he missed the Battle of the Little Bighorn (June 25, 1876) due to an injury. Fort Custer was established after that battle, and LaForge guided the surveyors to the proposed site. In 2018, MHF provided a grant to professionally restore LaForge’s cabin by removing rotted logs, replacing chinking, and installing new logs and window bucks.
In 1981, the Big Horn County Historical Museum moved the Thomas LaForge Cabin from Lodge Grass, MT to the museum grounds. Twenty-three other significant historic buildings grace the museum grounds, as well as five exhibit and gallery buildings.
Thomas LaForge was born in Ohio in 1850 and arrived in Montana in 1865. He was adopted by the Crow, lived among them, married a Crow woman, and raised his children on the reservation. Dr. Thomas B Marquis captured LaForge’s story in Memoirs of a White Crow Indian, published in 1928. LaForge has many descendants on the reservation today.