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

Old Fort Benton Bridge

 
 
Old Fort Benton Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
1. Old Fort Benton Bridge Marker
Inscription.  The bridge at this site was completed in 1888 and remained in use until 1963. The Benton Bridge Company constructed it as a toll bridge–no federal subsidy, county or state money was involved–to encourage the city's Judith Basin trade. Choteau County eventually paid a token $9999 for the structure in 1896. For many years, a great 225-foot turn span stood ready to swing open for the steamboats that never came; finally in 1908 the O.K. steamed through. Neither survived long afterwards. The big span went down in a flood on June 6, 1908 and the O.K. burned on June 30 of that year.
When the span was rebuilt, the Corps of Engineers gave special permission for Fort Benton's bridge to block steamboat navigation further up the Big Muddy. Oddly enough the cost of its replacement upriver was financed by a special county levy that matched federal funds; again no state money was involved.
 
Erected by Fort Benton Community Improvement Association.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsDisasters. A significant historical date for this entry is June 6, 1908.
 
Location.
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47° 49.059′ N, 110° 40.031′ W. Marker is in Fort Benton, Montana, in Chouteau County. Marker is on Front Street near 15th Street, on the right when traveling east. 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. Open Range Cattle (a few steps from this marker); Cummings Building (a few steps from this marker); Fire! Fire! (a few steps from this marker); Pacific Hotel (a few steps from this marker); Fort Benton Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Culbertson House (a few steps from this marker); "George Montgomery: Rider of the Purple Sage" (a few steps from this marker); June 6, 1908 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Benton.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located in Fort Benton's riverside park.
 
Fort Benton Toll Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
2. Fort Benton Toll Bridge Marker
First Bridge in Montana across the Missouri

Captions: (upper left) Steamboat O.K. coming through swing span–1908; (top right) Foot bridge used after flood; (bottom left) Flood of 1908; (bottom center) Wash-out swing span; (bottom right) New wooden span rebuilt in 9 months.
Old Fort Benton Bridge and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
3. Old Fort Benton Bridge and Marker
Old Fort Benton Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
4. Old Fort Benton Bridge Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 8, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 8, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 178 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 8, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 13, 2024