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

Fort Peck in Valley County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Boomtowns on the Outskirts

 
 
Boomtowns on the Outskirts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2020
1. Boomtowns on the Outskirts Marker
Captions: (top left) Workers and their families needed more than just homes. Boomtowns like Wheeler, shown here, also provided schools, theaters, grocery stores, hardware stores, bars, and restaurants.; (bottom center) Ruby's Place in Wheeler was a popular spot for drinking and dancing.; (upper top right) Like many of the boomtowns that sprang up around Fort Peck Dam, New Deal was named in honor of President Roosevelt.; (lower top right) Boomtown homes were built to be temporary or portable. Most were 10 by 12 foot paper shacks like the one shown here in Park Grove, the only boomtown to survive, April 1935.
Inscription.  As workers poured in to work on Fort Peck Dam, the population of this quiet area boomed.

Barracks and dormitories were built in Fort Peck to house individual workers, but families had nowhere to live. More than 20 boomtowns sprang up just beyond the city limits of the carefully planned community of Fort Peck. Most were platted by the local farmer or rancher who owned the land.
By 1936, the dam employed nearly 11,000 workers. Many brought their families since the state gave hiring preferences to married men with dependents. Many other people came to open businesses.
After the dam was completed in 1940, the population of Fort Peck eventually fell back to a little more than 300 people. Businesses closed. Homes were torn down, taken home, or sold. Little remains of the boomtowns today.
 
Erected by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 48° 0.601′ N, 106° 25.292′ W. Marker is in Fort Peck, Montana, in Valley
Boomtowns on the Outskirts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2020
2. Boomtowns on the Outskirts Marker
County. Marker can be reached from Yellowstone Road near Winter Harbor, on the left when traveling east. The marker is located in front of the Fort Peck Interpretive Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Peck MT 59223, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Town Built for a Dam (here, next to this marker); Diverting the Mighty Missouri (within shouting distance of this marker); Powerful Afterthoughts (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory (approx. one mile away); Built with Muscle and Muck (approx. one mile away); Fort Peck Dam (approx. one mile away); The Slide of '38 (approx. one mile away); Fort Peck Administration Building (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Peck.
 
Fort Peck boomtown image. Click for full size.
By PBSimages
3. Fort Peck boomtown
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 8, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 37 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 8, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 5, 2021