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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Monarch in Cascade County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Steamboats, Bull Whackers, and Fish Trains

 
 
Steamboats, Bull Whackers, and Fish Trains Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Earle, September 11, 2010
1. Steamboats, Bull Whackers, and Fish Trains Marker
Click on photo to view historical photos and captions.
Inscription. The discovery of silver in 1879 in Galena Creek southwest of here created a real transportation challenge for the miners of the early 1880's - how to bring in mining supplies and how to haul their precious ore out to distant railroads and markets.

Transportation in the Little Belts
At first, the "truck drivers" of the 1880's, known as freighters or "bull whackers" used large teams of oxen, mules or horses to haul supplies from nearby Ft. Benton, the uppermost reach of steamboats on the Missouri River. This was slow and the roads of sticky gumbo clay were terrible when wet.

In 1890 the Montana Central Railroad was extended from Great Falls to Monarch, and a year later to Neihart to transport ore. A new silver smelter in Great Falls began receiving ore shipments from these mountains in 1897.

During its 55 years of existence the train and track carried not just supplies and ordinary passengers, but also campers, fishermen, fish, and partygoers.
 
Erected by Lewis and Clark National Forest.
 
Location. 47° 12.666′ N, 110° 55.866′ W. Marker is near Monarch, Montana, in Cascade County. Marker is on U.S. 89, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at a signed overlook, the "Sluice Boxes Overlook.". Marker is in this post office area: Monarch MT 59463, United States of America.
 
More about this marker. Railroad bed described in marker is visible, and there is a scenic overlook of the nearby river.
 
Categories. Notable PlacesRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 29, 2017, by Christopher Earle of Olympia, Washington. This page has been viewed 59 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on September 29, 2017, by Christopher Earle of Olympia, Washington. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide area view of the marker and its surroundings. • Photo of the railroad bed. • Can you help?
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