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

The Montana Memorial

 
 
The Montana Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
1. The Montana Memorial
Inscription.  The Lewis and Clark Memorial was Fort Benton's contribution to the Nation's Bicentennial in 1976 and is the State of Montana's official memorial to the Expedition. Total cost was $175,000.
The statue is heroic-sized (1/6 larger than actual). It was cast by the lost-wax process at the Modern Art Foundry in New York City. The bronze weights 2 1/2 tons, is 21 feet high and was brought from New York upright on a semi-trailer! During the trip, problems were encountered with interstate underpasses. It caused many a head to turn, but the Captains were not recognized until the statue was west of the Mississippi.
The 85-ton granite base was a gift from Tanner Brothers Quarry near Square Butte, Montana. The rock was transported in mid-winter over frozen roads to save the roadway, on a thirty-wheeled trailer.
Artist Bob Scriver spent an entire year in research before beginning the three-year effort. Equipment, clothing, body features and faces are as historically accurate as could be determined, The Harpers Ferry rifles are accurate even to the name on the hammer plate. The actual telescope carried by Lewis was the pattern for the one
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he holds in the statue; the compass in Clark's hand was modeled from the one he really did use.
Indian lore was Mr. Scriver's forte, and the statue show his vast understanding of Plains Indian culture. Sacagawea's dress is that of a Shoshone who were her people. She is carrying a skinning knife and an awl; a strike-o-light hangs from her belt. Sacagawea is also wearing many rings and bracelets. Clark mentioned her fondness for jewelry which he often gave her on the trip.
On her back she carries Jean Baptiste in a blanket, folded to free both her hands. The pack board is missing since it was washed overboard a few days earlier. Secured to the baby's blanket is a serpent's pouch containing his umbilical cord; such a pouch was worn by all male children of the plains people. Pouches for females were shaped like a turtle.
Art critics have place the Memorial among the top ten major statuaries of Western art. Bob Scriver is among the West's greatest sculptors; he stated that this Memorial is the most outstanding work of his career.
 
Erected by Fort Benton Community Improvement Association.
 
Topics. This historical marker and memorial is listed in this topic list: Arts, Letters, Music. A significant historical date for this entry is June 13, 1976.
 
Location. 47° 49.194′ N, 110° 39.874′ W. Marker is in Fort
The Explorers at the Marias statue and the Montana Memorial marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
2. The Explorers at the Marias statue and the Montana Memorial marker
Benton, Montana, in Chouteau County. Marker is on Front Street near 18th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1750 Front Street, 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. Keelboat Mandan (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Benton – Fort MacLeod Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Mullan Wagon Road (within shouting distance of this marker); T.C. Power & Bro. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); T.C. Power Building (about 300 feet away); Steamboat Relics (about 300 feet away); Fort Benton Historic District (about 300 feet away); Fort Benton and the Indian Wars (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Benton.
 
More about this memorial. This memorial is located in Fort Benton's riverside park.
 
The Explorers at the Marias image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
3. The Explorers at the Marias
Explorers at the Marias image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
4. Explorers at the Marias
The Montana Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
5. The Montana Memorial
State of Montana
Lewis and Clark
Memorial

The Explorers at
the Marias
Sculpture by
Robert MacFie Scriver

Presented in Commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
1804–1806. Dedicated June 13, 1976, as a Bicentennial Project of
the Fort Benton Community Improvement Association.

Thomas L. Judge - Governor
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 6, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 611 times since then and 103 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 6, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 23, 2024