“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Twin Bridges in Madison County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Traveler's Crossroads for Centuries

"Beaverhead" & Point of Rocks Stage Station

Traveler's Crossroads for Centuries Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 27, 2021
1. Traveler's Crossroads for Centuries Marker
Captions: (background) The seventh stop on a stage route connecting Bannack and Virginia City, the Point of Rocks Stage Station operated for 22 years, when the Montana-Utah Road was the most heavily traveled in the state. Most of the buildings were removed by 1920, but cattle and ranching have remained.; (bottom right) Imprints of the area's original roads show up in this 1999 aerial photo of the lands around the present wetlands. You can still see traces of the Montana-Utah Road (rust-colored dashed line) running along the base of the bluff.
Inscription.  Both before and since the passage of Lewis and Clark, the limestone outcrop in front of you served as an important landmark and meeting area. The Shoshone tribe, from whom Sacagawea had been kidnapped as a child, came to this area every summer. By the time members of the Corps of Discovery caught sight of the rock on August 5, 1805, they had been watching for it for days. and were growing desperate. They needed to find it in order to meet up with the Shoshone, from whom they hoped to obtain horses-the only way they could cross the Rockies before winter. A few days later, they did indeed come upon the Shoshone, whose chief-by an amazing coincidence-was Sacagawea's own brother.
By 1856, one of the ancient trails here had become the primary travel route used by the region's first ranchers for cattle drives. Once gold was discovered in the early 1860s, freight wagons used the Montana-Utah Road to bring supplies to prospectors and the settlers who followed them. In 1863, the present-day Beaver Gateway Ranch became the site of the Point of Rocks Stage Station, which included a hotel, saloon, and post office that operate until 1885. Roads to
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the Big Hole Valley and to Helena also converged here. Railroads built in the early 1880s made the stage route obsolete, but for at least 22 years nearly everyone traveling to of from Helena, Virginia City or Bannack passed through here.

(side-bar on left:)
the Indian woman recognized the point of a high plain to our right which she informed us was not very distant from the summer retreat of her nation on a river beyond the mountains which runs to the west.    this hill she says her nation calls the beaver's head from a conceived remblance of it's figure to the head of that animal. she assures us that we shall either find her people on this river or on the river immediately west of it's source; which from it's present size cannot be very distant. - Meriwether Lewis, August 8, 1805 
Erected by Undaunted Stewardship.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationNatural FeaturesRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition series list. A significant historical date for this entry is August 8, 1805.
Location. 45° 22.476′ N, 112° 27.711′ W. Marker is in Twin Bridges, Montana, in Madison County. Marker is on State Highway 41 at milepost 13, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map
Traveler's Crossroads for Centuries Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 27, 2021
2. Traveler's Crossroads for Centuries Marker
Beaverhead Rock in the background. It has been a terrible wildfire season.
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1420 Montana Highway 41, Twin Bridges MT 59754, 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. Welcome to Beaverhead Gateway Ranch (here, next to this marker); Beaver's Head Rock: Native Road Sign (approx. 0.8 miles away); Beaverhead Rock (approx. 0.8 miles away); Distant Features (approx. 12.7 miles away); Mapping the Way (approx. 12.7 miles away); Reliable Landmarks (approx. 12.7 miles away); William Clark (approx. 12.7 miles away); Clark Pocket Compass Monument (approx. 12.8 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on March 6, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 6, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 143 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 6, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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May. 31, 2023