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

A Wonderful Piece of Engineering: The Big Side Cut

 
 
A Wonderful Piece of Engineering: The Big Side Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 9, 2018
1. A Wonderful Piece of Engineering: The Big Side Cut Marker
Inscription. The Mullan Road is carved into the face of the mountains high above the Clark Fork River west of here. Lieutenant John Mullan tried to keep his wagon road as close to the river as possible. But when his work crews ran up against a mountain spur that reached all the way to the edge of the river, he was forced to seek an alternate route. Mullan later wrote that "to make this six-mile cut through rocky spurs was an undertaking that I almost feared to attempt." On May 10, 1860, he assembled his entire work force of 150 citizens and soldiers at the west side of the spur. For the next six weeks, his men dug, whittled, and blasted their way up the mountain side to an altitude of a thousand feet above the river. A premature explosion while clearing a path through the rocks wounded one man and severely stunned another. When completed in June, 1860, the Big Side Cut segment was the most awe-inspiring of the entire 624-mile Mullan Road. A traveler wrote of the Big Side Cut in 1862 that it was "a narrow wagon track which left no room for careless or uncertain driving."
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Location. 47° 1.25′ N, 114° 31.194′ W. Marker is near Alberton, Montana, in Mineral County. Marker is on Interstate
A Wonderful Piece of Engineering: The Big Side Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 9, 2018
2. A Wonderful Piece of Engineering: The Big Side Cut Marker
90 at milepost 73, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alberton MT 59820, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Glacial Lake Missoula (within shouting distance of this marker); The Natural Pier Bridge (approx. mile away); Flying High Across the Big Sky (approx. 1.2 miles away); The Ninemile Remount Depot (approx. 6.6 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Alberton Rest Area, Westbound on Interstate 90 MP73. There is a duplicate marker at the Quartz Flat Rest Area, Eastbound at Superior, Montana
 
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 7, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 7, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 32 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 7, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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