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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

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

Decision at the Marias

Lewis in Blackfoot Country

 
 
Decision at the Marias Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
1. Decision at the Marias Marker
Captions: (middle left) Decision Point, Confluence of Marias and Missouri Rivers.; (bottom right) Pikanii Camp, Karl Bodmer, 1833.
Inscription.  On the evening of June 2, 1805 the Corps of Discovery arrived at the mouth of an unknown river flowing from the north. The river had not been mentioned by the Hidatsa nor was it noted on their maps. The two rivers were equal is size. Which was the true Missouri?
The Captains decided to explore both forks. On June 4 Lewis went up the north branch and Clark journeyed to the south. After several days of exploration, the Captains decided that the south fork was the true Missouri; the north fork was named for Maria Wood, Lewis's cousin.
Their decision was made despite objections to the contrary from the rest of the Corps, but they agreed to "follow them anywhere." A wrong decision may have doomed the expedition. A few days later Captain Lewis found the Great Falls and the Captains were vindicated.
The region was in the heart of Blackfoot Country, and the favored location for winter camps of the Piikani. Fort Piegan was established in 1831 and it became an important fur trade region.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
 
Location.
Decision at the Marias Marker, on left image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
2. Decision at the Marias Marker, on left
47° 58.478′ N, 110° 29.964′ W. Marker is in Loma, Montana, in Chouteau County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 87 near Rudyard Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Loma MT 59460, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Exploring the North Fork (here, next to this marker); A Montana Crossroads (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Manitoba Railroad (approx. 3.2 miles away); Marias River (approx. 3.2 miles away); Victims of Blood Indians Massacre (approx. 3.2 miles away); Fort Benton (approx. 12.7 miles away); Fort Benton and the Mullan Road (approx. 12.7 miles away); 1806 Lewis' Return (approx. 12.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Loma.
 
More about this marker. This marker is at an observation deck located atop of a hill a short distance from the highway,
 
Categories. Exploration
 
A "commanding eminence" Observation Deck image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
3. A "commanding eminence" Observation Deck
 

More. Search the internet for Decision at the Marias.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 12, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 12, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 43 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 12, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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