“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Bozeman in Gallatin County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Valley of Opportunity

To the Headwaters

Valley of Opportunity Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
1. Valley of Opportunity Marker
Inscription. Settlers came to the Gallatin Valley on the heels of the first Montana gold strike at Grasshopper Creek near Bannack, Montana, in 1862. As Meriwether Lewis had predicted, farmers found the valley well suited for agriculture. They planted crops and raised stock to supply the rapidly growing town.
John Jacobs and John Bozeman laid out a cutoff from the Oregon Trail into western gold fields of Montana in 1863. Bozeman brought the first wagon train of miners and settlers over the Bozemen Trail.
Erected by Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) & Qwest.
Location. 45° 42.736′ N, 111° 3.86′ W. Marker is near Bozeman, Montana, in Gallatin County. Marker is on N. 19th Avenue near I-90 eastbound entrance ramp (at milepost 305), 0.1 miles east of N. 19th Ave. and E. Valley Center Rd., on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Located at Bozeman Rest Area along I-90 along with several other historic markers. Marker is in this post office area: Bozeman MT 59718, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fur Trade (a few steps from this marker); Fort Ellis (a few steps from this marker); Lewis and Clark (a few steps from this marker); First People in the Gallatin Valley (within shouting distance of this marker); Pioneer Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Trail Through Time (within shouting distance of this marker); Bozeman Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bozeman Trail (approx. 5.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bozeman.
More about this marker. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series. It is one of six illustrated interpretive signs known as "One Trail Through Time: The Bozeman Rest Area signs" according to Montana's Historical Highway Markers book (Revised and Expanded by Axline 2008)

Marker is cracked in numerous locations.
Regarding Valley of Opportunity. Marker Quotation: July 28, 1805 "... I observe large quantities of the sand rush in these bottoms which grow in many places as high as a man's breast and stand as thick as the stalks of wheat usually do. this affords one of the best winter pastures on earth for horses or cows, and of course will be much in favour of an establishment should it ever be thought nexessary to fix one at this place. the grass is also luxouriant and would afford a fine swarth of hay at this time in parsels of many acres together." - Meriwether Lewis

Photo Caption: "Main Street Bozeman, 1872 by Joshua Crissman, used by permission of Gallatin County Historical Society and Pioneer Museum, Bozeman, Montana"

Categories. AgricultureExplorationNotable PersonsSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 23, 2010, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 891 times since then and 29 times this year. Last updated on March 24, 2010, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland. Photo   1. submitted on March 23, 2010, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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