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Thirty-three and Counting

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A birthday for Toby's Tavern

Almost invariably when Toby Therrian returns to Montana from his winter nest in the sunny southwest, it snows. This year was no different as the coldest northeast winds of the winter carried bitter, blinding snow into town the day before, during and for several days after his arrival.

    Toby, the owner of the famous Toby's Tavern in downtown Noxon (home of the only stoplight in all of Sanders County) showed his face in the Noxon Cafe recently where the "Specials" board on the wall proclaimed, "Welcome Back Toby!"

    He began the season in his usual way with his annual St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage extravaganza, and this year may have been one of the biggest parties yet. Hundreds came through his doors for free food, lots of laughs and a healthy dose of good, old-fashioned community camaraderie.

    Toby's Tavern may well be one of the most unique establishments in Montana. It's not just a place for food and beverages. It's a museum in its own right. When you come for a visit, come early, because you'll need lots of time to explore its many treasures.

    One memento on the well-decorated walls states, “Do not follow where the path may lead; Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” For over three decades Toby has been blazing a trail in the same tradition as the previous owners of the tavern, Marion and Madeline Larson. They ran the establishment for 36 years and Toby says he’d like to break that record, though he wonders aloud almost daily if he’ll make it.

    Toby, who’s now well into his 70s, is entering his 33rd year as proprietor of the tavern, but he’s had ample help from his daughter Gail and her husband Joe. They serve good food and cold beer, so come one, come all to beautiful Noxon, Montana and Toby’s Tavern. The trail is well blazed.


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Dennis Nicholls Dennis Nicholls was the founder, publisher, janitor and paperboy of the River Journal from 1993 to 2001. He passed away in 2009.

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