Montana is Home to the “Cribbage Capital of the World”
Who knew that a tiny town in MONTANA would be the 'world capital' of the much loved game that's been around since the 1600s?
I certainly didn't. Honestly, I had never heard of Nelson, Montana until today! But should you make the trip, you'll find this sign proclaiming their cribbage dominance.
So where exactly IS Nelson, Montana? Basically it's north of Helena and east of the Gates of the Mountains in the Helena National Forest.
According to GeneaologyTrails.com: Nelson, Montana was named for Cy Nelson, one of the first settlers in the vicinity. The post office opened in 1904 with Robert Smith as postmaster; it closed in 1937.
I'm not exactly sure HOW Nelson acquired (or gave itself?) this particular bragging right. There really isn't much information about Nelson, MT anywhere on the internet. There are only a few houses there, according to what you can see on Google Maps.
(We found this surprising, considering there seems to be dozens of books dedicated to the smallest of details of Montana history.) Nelson is in a small town class of it's own with next to no information available.
Sooooo, if we can't talk much about Nelson, Montana we'll talk a little about cribbage! Cribbage was invented in the early 1600s by Sir John Suckling, an English courtier, poet, gamester and gambler. It derives from the earlier game of Noddy.
Way back in the day, cribbage was a five card game where only one card was discarded to the crib by each player. Now it's generally played as a six card game, with two cards each being discarded to the crib.