In the late 1970's the Wilson family operated a boat sales company on Highway 93 South named Doc's Dockyard where Big O Tires is now located. He was also into model trains, so the store sold some model equipment as well. During the fall of 1979 the Wilson's decided to sponsor a model railroad club. They posted a sign up list, and the first organizational meeting with about 20 in attendance was held at the store. Bob Heyworth was elected president and Bill Taylor was elected secretary/treasurer.
For the next several years, the club met at members' homes on a rotating basis. In March 1980 it hosted its first train show and swap meet in Ron Ramer's garage. It has sponsored an annual train show and swap meet every year since. Currently the shows are held at Big Sky High School every September.
After the demise of the Milwaukee Road, the lawyer who handled property transfers in Montana paid to have the Milwaukee depot in Drummond, Montana moved to the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. After negotiations with the museum staff, the Missoula Model Railroad Club succeeded in obtaining a long-term lease to the baggage room of the depot. Since 1992 it has served as the headquarters for the group.
A permanent layout is currently on display in the depot. Profits from the train show have helped improve the depot location.The club currently has a "newer" portable HO scale layout and N scale layout that they operate periodically at the depot - most notably on Railroad Day and the 4th of July. They also take it to the annual train show and swap meet at Big Sky High School.The club's membership averages about 35.