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

Fire! Fire!

 
 
Fire! Fire! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2020
1. Fire! Fire! Marker
Inscription.  The threat of fire haunted Fort Benton's businessmen. They took several steps to minimize this risk before incorporating in 1883. A volunteer fire department of three companies of men was organized. Ten strategically located wells were placed along Front Street in 1880. The wells were lined with bricks and about fifteen feet deep. Water from the wells operated the new two-cylinder hand pumper and filled water troughs for thousands of animals used for hauling freight to all parts of the Northwest. In January 1883 the first true test of the system occurred; a fire burned two buildings before the blaze was contained. By 1888 Fort Benton had a municipal water works and an electric plant, the first in Montana. Water pipes, pumps and fire hydrants replaced the wells. Two wells were unmoved when the old sidewalks were removed in 2003 and are marked with a brick ring.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Disasters.
 
Location. 47° 49.065′ N, 110° 40.042′ W. Marker is in Fort Benton, Montana, in Chouteau County. Marker is on Front Street near 15th
Fire! Fire! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2020
2. Fire! Fire! Marker
Note the circle of bricks behind the post on the right.
Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1506 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. Cummings Building (a few steps from this marker); Pacific Hotel (a few steps from this marker); Old Fort Benton Bridge (a few steps from this marker); McGraw's Saloon (a few steps from this marker); Open Range Cattle (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Benton Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); "George Montgomery: Rider of the Purple Sage" (within shouting distance of this marker); Bloodiest Block in the West (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Benton.
 
Fire! Fire! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2020
3. Fire! Fire! Marker
Note the ring of bricks marking the location of one of the towns original fire wells.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 4, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 37 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 4, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 5, 2021