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

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

Fort LaBarge

1862-1864 Fort LaBarge

 
 
Fort LaBarge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2020
1. Fort LaBarge Marker
Inscription.  Joseph LaBarge docked the Emilie on June 17, 1862, three days ahead of the American Fur Company boats. His Emilie was the first side-wheeler at Fort Benton. LaBarge unloaded six hundred tons of freight with is partner James Harkness. Harkness wrote, "laid out Fort LaBarge, 300 ft. by 200 ft. Madame LaBarge drove the first stake and my daughter Margaret the second." The forts buildings were in a "U" shape, the open end facing the river.
They planned to trade along the river and in the new mining towns. Harkness intended to remain for two years, but almost beat the Emilie back to St. Louis. He decided the Blackfoot were too much and left, abandoning the freight to Andrew Dawson from the rival American Fur Co.
In the aftermath, Montana had its first law suit. Joseph LaBarge lost $100,000; their oxen and wagons started the Diamond R, Montana's largest freighting outfit. In 1864 the American Fur Co. bought what was left of the business, including the sawmill, at deeply discounted rates.
 
Erected by Fort Benton Chamber of Commerce.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed
Fort LaBarge - 1862-1864 Fort LaBarge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2020
2. Fort LaBarge - 1862-1864 Fort LaBarge Marker
Captions: (top) 1862-1865 LeBarge, Harkness & Company; (bottom left) Joseph LaBarge; bottom center) Fort LaBarge Layout; (bottom right) LaBarge Ferry 1908.
in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 47° 48.707′ N, 110° 40.283′ W. Marker is in Fort Benton, Montana, in Chouteau County. Marker is on River Street near 8th Street, on the right when traveling north. The marker is located on the river front pathway between Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center and the historic downtown business district. 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. Whoop Up Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Most Progressive in Montana (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Great Northern Railway (about 400 feet away); Cow Island Incident (about 400 feet away); Nez Perce Fight (about 500 feet away); The Little Shell Chippewa (about 600 feet away); Priming the Pump (about 600 feet away); Coulson's Steamboat Offices (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Benton.
 
Fort LaBarge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2020
3. Fort LaBarge Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 3, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 43 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 3, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 6, 2021