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

Fort Missoula

Fort Missoula Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 10, 2018
1. Fort Missoula Marker
Inscription. Fort Missoula, established in 1877 to provide military control over western Montana’s Indian tribes and protect local settlers, was the only permanent military post west of the Continental Divide. There was little conflict, but the fort’s non-combative service was long and diverse. From 1888 to 1898, the black 25th Infantry Regiment was stationed at the fort. Twenty of the men explored potential military applications of the bicycle, riding 1,900 miles from Missoula to St. Louis in forty days. During the Spanish-American conflict in 1898, volunteers known as Grigsby’s Cowboys were garrisoned at the fort. Citizens protesting its closure in 1904 prompted U.S. Senator Joseph Dixon of Missoula to successfully lobby for the fort’s reconstruction. Eighteen Mission style buildings from this period (1904 to 1912) form the core of the present complex. The fort served as a technical training center during World War I, and between 1933 and 1941, it became the nation’s largest regional headquarters for the Civilian Conservation Corps. During World War II, it was the nation’s largest civilian detention camp interning Japanese Americans, Italian nationals taken from merchant and luxury ships in New York’s harbor, and World’s Fair employees. Italian internees affectionately dubbed the fort “Bella Vista.” After World War II, the fort served
Fort Missoula Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 10, 2018
2. Fort Missoula Marker
as a medium security army prison. Closed in 1948, the fort had a military service that long outlasted other early Montana forts. The army began to sell and lease portions of the property, but adaptability and strong community involvement has assured the buildings at Fort Missoula an active future. Most of the district’s buildings are now administered by the Northern Rockies Heritage Center.
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Montana National Register Historical Markers marker series.
Location. 46° 50.544′ N, 114° 3.366′ W. Marker is in Missoula, Montana, in Missoula County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Fort Missoula Road and F Street (Capt. Shattuck Lane), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Missoula MT 59804, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Missoula, Montana (a few steps from this marker); Fort Missoula Post Headquarters (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); T-1 Post Headquarters (about 700 feet away); 1877 Fort Missoula Officers' Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Missoula Post Hospital (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Galloping Goose" (approx. 0.3 miles away); Sliderock Lookout Tower (approx. 0.4 miles away); Northwest Passage (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Missoula.
Also see . . .  Fort Missoula Alien Detention Center - Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. Fort Missoula is currently the largest intact WWII internment site with most major buildings of the era still in use, including the Post Headquarters with its courtroom, the hospital, commissary, officer and staff housing, barracks and other support structures. (Submitted on September 15, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
Categories. Forts, Castles
Credits. This page was last revised on September 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 14, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 14, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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