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Steve Bullock takes a break from the campaign trail to connect with his past

Bullock connects with family history in Iowa
Bullock connects with family history in Iowa 00:50

In a remote part of southeast Iowa, beside a boulder with a plaque that reads "oldest road in Iowa," sits a worn-down building that once housed the ancestors of Montana Governor and 2020 presidential candidate Steve Bullock.

"If I don't get pictures for my mom, I am in trouble," Bullock told CBS News, as he walked up to the house with his second cousins, Barbra Smith and Walter Walz.

The Lowell Store, owned by Bullock's great-great-grandfather for several decades, also served as a post office for the town and as a  home for the family.

Bullock was visibly energized, even on blistering afternoon, as he took in the family lore from his relatives while walking around what is now 1st Street in Lowell, Iowa. In between snapping photos of the building and peeking through the dusty windows, Walz told the governor about his great-great-grandfather's role in the group that first brought electric power to the town.

"Every Monday night we would have a movie night, and what was it, a dime to get in?" Walz asked while turning to Smith, his sister, for confirmation. "A dime, I think," Smith recalled, "and I think popcorn was a nickel."

Smith, who caught up with Bullock in Iowa City at a campaign stop earlier this month, told the governor about the time she met his father. The two tried piece together a puzzling timeline and concluded the meeting would have likely taken place in the early 1960s,  when Bullock's newlywed parents traveled to Salem, Iowa.

"Pretty amazing," Bullock said, smiling. Walz then jumped in to inform the governor his great, great, grandmother had been a "die-hard Democrat."

"Is that right?" Bullock said, before adding, "Hopefully she is looking down. She is going to help me out on this ride."

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