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Fort Benton in Chouteau County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Fort Benton Historic District

 
 
Fort Benton Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
1. Fort Benton Historic District Marker
Inscription.  Founded in 1846 as the fur trade transitioned fro furs to buffalo robes, Fort Benton was both a trading post and a center for distribution of Indian annuities. In the early 1860s, Montana's gold rush and the initiation of steamboat traffic made the town a freighting and transportation hub, the toughest town in the Northwest, and a military post. Hopeful miners and adventurers came up the Missouri River through the wonders of the White Cliffs area and disembarked on Fort Benton's levee. Busted or flush, they returned in the fall headed for "the states." as did most who served or preyed upon them. Millions of dollars of gold accompanied the lucky few aboard the steamboats and mackinaws. When the placers played out, Fort Benton merchants found new markets north along the Whoop-up Trail. The first trade goods included whiskey to the Indians; later more respectable merchandise reached settlers and the Northwest Mount3d Police. Entrepreneurs I.G. Baker, T.C. Power, W.S, Wetzel, and Charles William Conrad developed the territory's largest banking and mercantile operations. Wagons rolled in all directions from Fort Benton, the self-proclaimed "Chicago
Fort Benton Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
2. Fort Benton Historic District Marker
This marker is mounted on the back wall, on the right.
of the Plains." The world's innermost port flourished until railroads reached the region. In 1887, the steamboat trade's glory days ended. The economy shifted toward the sheep and cattle industry, with area ranchers shipping large herds to markets in Chicago. I the early 1900s, thousands of homesteaders flocked to the region, and Fort Benton prospered as the center of trade for the fertile "Golden Triangle."
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program marker series.
 
Location. 47° 49.247′ N, 110° 39.84′ W. Marker is in Fort Benton, Montana, in Chouteau County. Marker is on Front Street near 18th Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Benton MT 59442, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Benton and the Indian Wars (here, next to this marker); Steamboat Relics (here, next to this marker); Old Fort Benton (within shouting distance of this marker); Buffalo Robe Fur Press (within shouting distance of this marker); War Dogs Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Benton – Fort MacLeod Trail (within shouting
Fort Benton Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
3. Fort Benton Historic District Marker
distance of this marker); The Engage's Quarters (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Montana Memorial (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Benton.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located in front of the Museum of the Upper Missouri.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
Fort Benton Directory image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
4. Fort Benton Directory
Click on image to enlarge.
Fort Benton Museums image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
5. Fort Benton Museums
Click on image to enlarge.
 

More. Search the internet for Fort Benton Historic District.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 4, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 63 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 4, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   5. submitted on November 5, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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