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

Shields River Valley

 
 
Shields River Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 10, 2015
1. Shields River Valley Marker
Inscription.  This river was named by Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in honor of John Shields, a member of the party. Captain Clark and his men, guided by Sacajawea, the Shoshone woman, camped at the mouth of the river July 15, 1806, while exploring the Yellowstone on their return trip from the coast.

Jim Bridger, famous trapper, trader and scout, guided emigrant wagon trains from Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to Virginia City, Montana, in the 1860s, crossing hostile Indian country via the Bonanza Trail. Bridger’s route came up this valley from the Yellowstone, followed up Brackett Creek, crossed the divide west of here to strike Bridger Creek and thence down the latter to the Gallatin Valley.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 15, 1806.
 
Location. 46° 0.341′ N, 110° 39.761′ W. Marker is near Wilsall, Montana, in Park County. Marker is on U.S. 89 half a mile
Shields River Valley Marker (<i>wide view; looking east from highway pull-out</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 10, 2015
2. Shields River Valley Marker (wide view; looking east from highway pull-out)
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south of Flathead Creek Road (State Highway 86), on the left when traveling south. Marker is located in a pull-out on the east side of the highway, about 1/2 mile north of Wilsall, Montana. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wilsall MT 59086, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
More about this marker. This is a large, painted wooden "billboard-style" marker, hanging from a heavy-duty wooden frame.
 
Also see . . .  John Shields (explorer). Private John Shields (c1769–1809) was, at about 35 years old, the second oldest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and its oldest enlisted member. He acted as a gunsmith, blacksmith, hunter, and scout for the duration of the expedition. On January 15, 1807, Captain Meriwether Lewis wrote to the US Secretary of War Henry Dearborn: "John Shields has received the pay only of a private. Nothing was more peculiarly useful to us in various situations than the skill and ingenuity of this man as an artist, in repairing our guns, accoutrements, &c. and should it be thought proper to allow him something as an artificer, he has well deserved it." The Shields River, a tributary of the Yellowstone River, just east of Livingston, Montana, was named in his honor. (Submitted on January 7, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
"Thunder Jack" Statue (<i>located beside marker at pull-out</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 10, 2015
3. "Thunder Jack" Statue (located beside marker at pull-out)
Named by the Shields Valley 1st Grade Class of 2006-07
"Welcome to the Shields" (<i>base of "Thunder Jack" statue</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 10, 2015
4. "Welcome to the Shields" (base of "Thunder Jack" statue)
The mountain men, weathered and wind-bitten were adventurous explorers who led America deep into new regions of the Rockies and beyond. Names like John Colter, Thomas Fitzpatric and Jim Bridger were among hundreds of men that were unsurpassed as marksman, horseman, naturalists and the ultimate masters of survival while in the pursuit of beaver pelts.

This sculpture is dedicated to all those who came, endured and made a home in this mountain valley before and since Capt. William Clark named it in 1806.

Artist - Gary Kerby 2006
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 6, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 103 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 7, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 11, 2021