“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Chouteau County, Montana

Clickable Map of Chouteau County, Montana and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Chouteau County, MT (101) Blaine County, MT (17) Cascade County, MT (78) Fergus County, MT (55) Hill County, MT (24) Judith Basin County, MT (2) Liberty County, MT (3) Pondera County, MT (1) Teton County, MT (4)  ChouteauCounty(101) Chouteau County (101)  BlaineCounty(17) Blaine County (17)  CascadeCounty(78) Cascade County (78)  FergusCounty(55) Fergus County (55)  HillCounty(24) Hill County (24)  JudithBasinCounty(2) Judith Basin County (2)  LibertyCounty(3) Liberty County (3)  PonderaCounty(1) Pondera County (1)  TetonCounty(4) Teton County (4)
Fort Benton is the county seat for Chouteau County
Adjacent to Chouteau County, Montana
      Blaine County (17)  
      Cascade County (78)  
      Fergus County (55)  
      Hill County (24)  
      Judith Basin County (2)  
      Liberty County (3)  
      Pondera County (1)  
      Teton County (4)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — An Island on the PlainsThe Bears Paw Mountains
Fifty-five to thirty-four million years ago, volcanoes erupted in several areas of central Montana. The upwelling of magma which fed these volcanoes was largely responsible for the Bears Paw Uplift and for several other isolated mountain ranges in . . . Map (db m142530) HM
2Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Big Sandy
According to legend, the town and the creek got their name from the muleskinner "Big Sandy" Lane. The creek was flooded during one of his long treks from Cow Island to Fort Benton. When "Big Sandy" fluently bewailed his bad luck in superlatives . . . Map (db m142531) HM
3Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Camp CookeFirst Military Post In Montana
July 10, 1866 - March 31, 1870 Near this spot soldiers of the 13th Infantry of the U.S. Army built the first permanent Army post in the Montana Territory, where the Judith and Missouri Rivers join together. Map (db m161911) HM
4Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Cow Island Trail
Freight was unloaded at Cow Island when water dropped so low that steamboats could not travers the upper river to Fort Benton. For 130 miles the Cow Island Trail wound along the southern foothills of the Bear's Paw to the junction at Big Sandy then . . . Map (db m142562) HM
5Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Fort Chardon
In the spring of 1844, American Fur Company traders, Francis Chardon and Alexander Harvey constructed a trading post near here. Chardon had a reputation as an able and unscrupulous individual, while Harvey was "one of the most abandoned desperados . . . Map (db m161839) HM
6Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Fort Walsh Trail
Another wagon road headed northeast from Fort Bento to the Cypress Hills and Medicine Hat, Alberta. It passed through Big Sandy, on north near Havre and into the Cypress Hills. In 1873 Fort Benton whiskey traders massacred Indians in the Cypress . . . Map (db m142558) HM
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7Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Judith Landing
The road to the southeast leads to the mouth of the Judith River. An early fur post, Fort Chardon was built there in 1844. In 1866 Camp Cooke, the first miliary (sic) post in Montana, was constructed of cottonwood logs, and endured four years of . . . Map (db m142559) HM
8Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail1804 • Commemorating 200 Years • 2004 — Lewis & Clark Campsite May 28, 1805 —
Map (db m161843) HM
9Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Naturally Sustained ProductivityPast, Present & Future
Like much of Montana, the lands of the Wortman Ranch still look largely as they did even before the days of Lewis and Clark. Except for the irrigated farmland next to the river, the landscapes here haven't changed in character or appearance for . . . Map (db m161903) HM
10Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Tale of Two TreatiesCultures Clash, Relationships Change
Gaze out over the lands around you and imagine them filled with 2,000 tidies and 15,000 Indians-it has happened at least twice. Here, enormous gatherings were called to negotiate treaties that transformed relations between Indian tribes and opened . . . Map (db m161905) HM
11Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — The Anglos Are ComingImmigration Brings Change
You stand now in an area that was one of the first to feel the rapid growth of immigration that began about 60 years after Lewis and Clark camped here. Steamboats in the late 1800s chose this area as a key stopping point, because the trees needed . . . Map (db m161840) HM
12Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — The Judith River Formation
In 1855, geologist Ferdinand V. Hayden explored the upper Missouri River for the United States Geologic Service. At that time, the area was the hunting grounds of the Lakota, Blackfeet, Atsina, and River Crow Indians. A lone white man in Indian . . . Map (db m161838) HM
13Montana (Chouteau County), Big Sandy — Welcome to the Mountain RangesCrossroads for Centuries
Once home to grazing dinosaurs, the lands surrounding you still exhibit the qualities that have mad the Judith Landing area an important crossroads thought human history. Here, at the confluence of two rivers, trees grow more densely than elsewhere . . . Map (db m161936) HM
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14Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — "George Montgomery: Rider of the Purple Sage"
by Actor/Artist George Montgomery (1916-2000) and Artist Gary Schildt (1938- ) (dedication information omitted) George Montgomery, youngest of 15 siblings, was born on a homestead near Brady, Montana. Following graduation . . . Map (db m142336) HM
15Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — 1806 Lewis' Return
On July 16, 1806, Captain Lewis gave instructions to Sgt. Ordway to finish the portage at the Great Falls and wait for him at the month of Maria's River. After their wild encounter with the Blackfoot on the Two Medicine and a twenty-hour ride, . . . Map (db m142214) HM
16Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Bank of Northern Montana
The bank was established June 1, 1880, by T. E. Collins, Charles Duer and L. H. Hershfield and Brother. It was first located in the Benton Record Building, then moved to this location in October 1881. The bank remained here until the large two-story . . . Map (db m142100) HM
17Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Bloodiest Block in the West
"It's a tough town. Walk in the center of the street and keep your mouth shut," Gunslingers walked this street; few earned a reputation but more earned eternity here than in other fabled western towns. Indians were fair game. Their corpses dumped . . . Map (db m142304) HM
18Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Buffalo Robe Fur Press
This is a replica of the buffalo robe press that was used at Old Fort Benton. It was big and awkward, but robes were so bulky and heavy that it took equipment like this to handle them. Robes were pressed hair-side out after the four sides were . . . Map (db m142212) HM
19Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Choteau House
I.G. Baker and T. C. Power built the original Thwing House in 1868. Under the watchful eye of Mrs. Thwing, this “downtown” hotel competed with the Overland. The hotel closed in 1870 and was rented as military officers’ quarters. It . . . Map (db m142134) HM
20Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Chouteau County
When Lewis and Clark found this land of mountains, river valley and plains, it was so full of buffalo and other grazing animals that it seemed like Paradise. In the1880's the area became vast open cattle ranges, and today Montana's greatest wheat . . . Map (db m142014) HM
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21Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Chouteau County Courthouse
Chouteau County was one of the nine original counties created February 2. 1865. At that time there was a sporting disregard for assessors, taxes and the law. For example, in 1872 when the jail burned, all the peace officers were in Canada trading . . . Map (db m142450) HM
22Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Chouteau County Courthouse
Minneapolis architects Kees and Fisk drew the plans for this magnificent Queen Anne style courthouse which opened in 1884. As the seat of one of Montana's nine original counties, its grand appearance represents the early affluence of this "Chicago . . . Map (db m142451) HM
23Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Church of the Immaculate Conception
The Roman Catholic faith came to Fort Benton even before the walls of the fort were erected. Father Jean Pierre de Smet and Nicholas Point celebrated the first mass on Sept. 27, 1846. "Black Robes" continued to serve the area irregularly until Fr. . . . Map (db m142452) HM
24Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Church of the Immaculate Conception
When fire destroyed the original Church of the Immaculate Conception in 1905, this beautiful Tudor style structure of rough cut stone and ornamental half-timbered gables replaced it in 1907. Salvaged from the blaze was a bell christened in 1880 for . . . Map (db m142454) HM
25Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Coulson's Steamboat OfficesCoulson Steamboat Lines Largest Company of the Upper River
The Coulson Steamboat Headquarters once stood here. The Coulson Line was the largest early company on the upper river. It ran some of the most immense boats, like the Montana and the Dakota, that were over 250 feet long. Coulson . . . Map (db m161592) HM
26Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Cow Island Incident
On September 21, 1877, Fort Benton commander Major Guido Ilges got word that the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) had traveled across the Judith Basin headed for Canada. Thirteen members of Company F, Seventh Infantry Regiment and to civilians volunteers . . . Map (db m161479) HM
27Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Culbertson House
Solomon's Medicine Lodge Saloon was remodeled in 1875 and became the Centennial Hotel. This frame building was moved to the back of the lot by Robert S. and Lydian Smith Culbertson for living quarters, while a new two-story brick hotel was built . . . Map (db m142303) HM
28Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Cummings BuildingFort Benton Historic District
Originally this site was occupied by a wooden frame building that housed Mose Solomon’s Medicine Lodge. This legendary saloon was open twenty-four hours a day from spring thaw to first snow. When the building burned, prominent lawyer, customs . . . Map (db m161662) HM
29Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Davidson and Moffitt Harness Shop
Fort Benton’s building boom of 1887-1884 saw the construction of many commercial buildings made of locally produced soft brick. This fine example was built in 1881 as a saddlery by Davidson and Moffitt of Helena. The River Press Company, publisher . . . Map (db m142064) HM
30Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Drowning of the Governor
Thomas Francis Meagher was born in Ireland in 1823. An Irish Revolutionary, he was caught and sentenced to death. Meagher's sentence was commuted to exile in Tasmania but he escaped to the United States. As a Brigadier General, Meagher commanded the . . . Map (db m142253) HM
31Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fire! Fire!
The threat of fire haunted Fort Benton's businessmen. They took several steps to minimize this risk before incorporating in 1883. A volunteer fire department of three companies of men was organized. Ten strategically located wells were placed along . . . Map (db m161663) HM
32Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — First Fire Engine House
"Fire" was a cry dreaded by any Westerner, and early Fort Benton was no exception. Flimsy wooden buildings, haystacks, kerosene lamps and primitive stoves created major fire hazards. When city government was organized in 1883, the first steps in . . . Map (db m142424) HM
33Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort Benton
Founded in 1846 as a fur post, Fort Benton is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Montana. From its palisaded walls grew the most important transportation center in the Northwest. Trails led to all points of the compass, carrying goods . . . Map (db m141987) HM
34Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort Benton
Alexander Culbertson established Fort Benton in 1846 as an American Fur Company trading post. The remote settlement prospered in the 1850s, but it wasn't until the following decade that it really boomed. The arrival of the steamboat Chippewa at the . . . Map (db m142483) HM
35Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort Benton – Fort MacLeod Trail
The Fort Benton to Fort MacLeod or "Whoop-up" Trail into Canada was the main artery of commerce in the 1869-1883 era. Twenty yoke of oxen was a team and each team hauled three of the heavy freight wagons loaded with trade goods, calico and whiskey. . . . Map (db m142216) HM
36Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort Benton and the Indian Wars
This three-inch ordinance rifle came to Fort Benton sometime after the Civil War, probably during the time it was a military port, 1869-1881. It has remained here since its arrival, and was here during the Indian Wars of 1876-1877. It has seen no . . . Map (db m168229) HM
37Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort Benton and the Mullan Road
Fort Benton was the eastern terminus of the Mullan Military Road. Construction of the road began in the summer of 1859 at Fort Walla Walla, the head of navigation on the Columbia River. Lieutenant John Mullan of the U.S. Topographical Engineers . . . Map (db m142484) HM
38Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort Benton Bridge
When railroads replaced steamboats, Fort Benton's importance as a trade center declined. In response, Fort Benton businessmen formed the Benton Bridge Company to construct a bridge across the Missouri River to capture the trade of the rapidly . . . Map (db m142414) HM
39Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort Benton Engine House
The Fort Benton Engine House, built in 1883, and the Grand Union Hotel are two of only a few structures remaining to remind us of the rapid expansion here during the flourishing steamboat days. When Fort Benton incorporated in 1883, a volunteer fire . . . Map (db m142417) HM
40Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort Benton Historic District
Founded in 1846 as the fur trade transitioned fro furs to buffalo robes, Fort Benton was both a trading post and a center for distribution of Indian annuities. In the early 1860s, Montana's gold rush and the initiation of steamboat traffic made the . . . Map (db m142173) HM
41Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort Benton Levee
On June 14, 1869 nine sternwheelers moored along this bank, unloading whiskey, gold pans, salt, bacon, boot and miners. Ox teams hauled the freight to faraway points. Wells Fargo coaches took miners to Helena for $25, fights with the Blackfoot were . . . Map (db m142060) HM
42Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fort LaBarge1862-1864 Fort LaBarge
Joseph LaBarge docked the Emilie on June 17, 1862, three days ahead of the American Fur Company boats. His Emilie was the first side-wheeler at Fort Benton. LaBarge unloaded six hundred tons of freight with is partner James Harkness. . . . Map (db m161587) HM
43Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Fur Trade Posts
As you look across the Missouri, on the third bottom were two fur posts within several hundred yards of one another. Fort Cotton, built in 8142 by the Union Fur Company, existed only two years before it was abandoned. Fort Lewis was built by . . . Map (db m142017) HM
44Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Grand Union Hotel
Opened to the public Nov. 1, 1882 the Grand Union Hotel was Fort Benton's pride, a haven of relaxation in a boisterous frontier town at the head of navigation on the Missouri. Total cost of the finest hostelry between Seattle and the Twin Cities . . . Map (db m142061) HM
45Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Grand Union Hotel
This grandiose, three-story Italianate style hotel welcomed weary river travelers to the Gateway of the Northwest, offering guests a luxurious refuge before setting out for less civilized destinations. Its opening in 1882 came at the end of the . . . Map (db m142062) HM
46Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Grasshoppers in the River?Perils of Steamboating on the Missouri
In the 25 years following the first gold discoveries in western Montana, before railroads arrived in Fort Benton 1887, steamboats made hundreds of trips bringing fortune-seekers and their supplies from St. Louis to Fort Benton. Some of the boats . . . Map (db m161580) HM
47Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Great Northern Railway1887 The Great Northern Came to Fort Benton
Across the levee on the corner stood the two-story house built by the sheep man Paris Gibson who was the founder of Great Falls. He later became a promoter for James J. Hill's railroad. In 1887 while negotiating the entry of the railroad into Fort . . . Map (db m161589) HM
48Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — H.J. Wackerlin Hardware Company
This structure opened in 1882 during Fort Benton’s "glory days" as Montana’s largest hardware store. T. C. Power and Hans Wackerlin operated the business. Wackerlin, a tinsmith, had come to Fort Benton in 1867 aboard the steam boat Richmond, which . . . Map (db m142136) HM
49Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — I.G. Baker Company
Stores, warehouses and homes belonging to Montana's greatest trading company were along this side street. Founded in 1866, I.G. Baker Co.'s freight wagons cut deep trails into western history. From northern Canada along routes in all directions, the . . . Map (db m142292) HM
50Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — I.G. Baker Home
From the 1850s to 1887, Fort Benton was the trade center for this region of the American and Canadian West. Like others who chose to stay when the fur trade declined, I.G. Baker (last American Fur Company factor at the fort) turned to new endeavors. . . . Map (db m142133) HM
51Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — I.G. Baker Home
The original portion of this house, one of the oldest in Montana, was built for I.G. Baker in 1867. Early-day Fort Benton merchant Baker wanted a home, rather than the old fort for the birth of his expected child. Constructed of rough-sawn . . . Map (db m142290) HM
52Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — June 6, 1908
On this day water from the Missouri River rose to this level at this location due to heavy rainfall over Western Montana. For more information contact National Weather Service Great Falls, MT Missouri . . . Map (db m142408) HM
53Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Keelboat Mandan
Keelboats antedated steamboats and used every kind of power–chiefly man–except steam. Propelling them was no idle pastime. The usual method was to set long ash poles on the river bottom, toe the cleated walk and push hard, bow to stern. . . . Map (db m142245) HM
54Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Lewis and Clark Trail
The river below was the first trail west. On their way to the Pacific, Lewis and Clark used the Missouri as their route to the Rocky Mountains. Maria's River enters the Missouri fifteen miles down stream. In June 1805 the Captains spent ten days . . . Map (db m142016) HM
55Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Masonic Building
Members of Masonic Lodge #25 built this brick structure in 1882, housing their temple on the second floor. Grocer W. H. Burgess rented first floor space. Economic decline in the late 1880s caused the Masons to lose title, and Burgess, too, went . . . Map (db m142103) HM
56Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — McGraw's Saloon
Originally built to house the Stockmen’s National Bank, this solid structure represents typical pre-1900s commercial architecture. Its 1890 construction is significant as one of the few buildings erected after Fort Benton’s heyday and before . . . Map (db m142102) HM
57Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Most Progressive in MontanaFirst in Montana
On July 19, 1882 the steamer Rose Bud docked at the Fort Benton levee. That night the residents got their first glimpse of an electric light with a show from the the steamer's big searchlight, much to the chagrin of a prominent local . . . Map (db m161581) HM
58Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Mullan Road
Within a few steps of this sign the Mullan Road came up Helena Hill from Fort Benton. It wound its way over 600 miles to the head of navigation on the Columbia River at Fort Walla Walla. It was the first federal highway in the Northwest. Covered . . . Map (db m141986) HM
59Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Mullan Wagon Road
Captain John Mullan started surveying the Mullen Road in 1853 and began construction in 1859 of the 624-mile wagon road that linked Fort Benton to the head of navigation on the Columbia. Indian wars slowed him somewhat, but Mullan opened his route . . . Map (db m142246) HM
60Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Nez Perce Fight1877 Cow Island Fight
Across the street is a log house that was occupied by Major Guido Ilges, commander of the troops at Fort Benton during the Indian Wars of 1876-1877. Ilges took a volunteer force of eighteen men to Cow Island where they confronted the Nez Perce . . . Map (db m161591) HM
61Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Nez Perce War
In September 1877 the Nez Perce traveled across the Judith Basin headed for Canada. In anticipation of trouble, Major Ilges (commandant at Fort Benton) organized a party of fifty volunteers, mostly Fort Benton's Irish Fenians. They loaded the . . . Map (db m142215) HM
62Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Old Fort Benton1846-1865
Logs were floated downstream from Fort Lewis in May of 1847 and erected on foundations built the year before. The fort was called Fort Lewis or Fort Clay before officially named for Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri upon completion of the . . . Map (db m142210) HM
63Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Old Fort Benton Bridge
The bridge at this site was completed in 1888 and remained in use until 1963. The Benton Bridge Company constructed it as a toll bridge–no federal subsidy, county or state money was involved–to encourage the city's Judith Basin trade. . . . Map (db m142333) HM
64Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Old Fort Campbell1846-1860 Fort Campbell
On this site stood old Fort Campbell; it was the "opposition fort" to Fort Benton downriver. Fort Campbell was moved here by Alexander Harvey in 1847 and built of adobe. Harvey was a fearless frontiersman, a character whom no one heedlessly . . . Map (db m161593) HM
65Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Open Range Cattle
In the late 1870's after the gold rush, stockmen began to move cattle from the mountains to the northern plains of Montana and utilize the free grass on the open ranges. Montana's short grass prairies had the best grass of the entire Great Plains. . . . Map (db m142339) HM
66Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Pacific Hotel
In 1864, Mills and Douglas operated a restaurant and hotel on this corner. Mills and Robert S. Culbertson went into partnership in 1877, opening a new establishment called the Centennial Hotel in celebration of the United States' 100th birthday. . . . Map (db m142104) HM
67Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Priming the PumpPublic Works in Fort Benton
Civilizations have always established themselves around water sources, and the founding of Fort Benton continued the pattern. As the population grew and the community developed, a water treatment plant became necessary. Montana's first water . . . Map (db m161579) HM
68Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Shep's Vigil
In August 1936 a casket containing a sheepherder's body was loaded on a baggage car headed East for burial. A dog, of collie strain, watched with anxious eyes. He was to be there to meet every train year after year. Conductor Ed Shields by 1939 . . . Map (db m142059) HM
69Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — St. Paul's Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church came to Montana Territory with Bishop D.S. Tuttle in 1867, who rode horseback to mining camps and frontier posts. An abandoned saloon housed the first Fort Benton services, then a hotel and school. When Rev. S.C. Blackiston . . . Map (db m142328) HM
70Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — St. Paul's Episcopal Church
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fort Benton’s oldest church, is the oldest Episcopal Church in Montana. In continuous service since August 11, 1881, it appears today almost as it did upon opening. Architecturally, this Gothic style building is a fine . . . Map (db m142329) HM
71Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Stage LinesStage Coach West
Stages operated from Fort Benton in many directions well into the 20th century. The first routes connected the gold camps of Helena and Virginia City with the river port. In 1866 C.C. Huntley established the route, but was soon bought out by Wells . . . Map (db m161659) HM
72Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Steamboat Navigation
Just over the brow of this hill, nestled against the banks of the Missouri, is Fort Benton. It was the head of steamboat navigation on the Missouri, the world's innermost port. Below this point is a shelf in the river that prevented further passage. . . . Map (db m142011) HM
73Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Steamboat Relics
Part of the remains of Fort Benton's last steam boats. Baby Rose & City of Fort Benton were both lost on the Missouri after 1900. Map (db m142170) HM
74Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Stockmen's National Bank
Originally built to house the Stockmen’s National Bank, this solid structure represents typical pre-1900s commercial architecture. Its 1890 construction is significant as one of the few buildings erected after Fort Benton’s heyday and before . . . Map (db m142101) HM
75Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Stream Flow Monitoring
This stream flow monitoring station is part of a nationwide system of approximately 7,000 streamflow stations operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS has principal responsibility for evaluation of the Nation's water resources by . . . Map (db m142410) HM
76Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — T.C. Power & Bro.
Across the street stood the first two stores of the T.C. Power Company, the third became the Pioneer Lodge. T.C. Power stepped off the Yorktown about this spot on June 14, 1867 with a tiny stock of merchandise bought "on jawbone," but with . . . Map (db m142248) HM
77Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — T.C. Power Building
In 1867, merchant T. C. Power, destined to become one of the state’s wealthiest and most influential men, brought his first wagonload of goods to Fort Benton, where he set up shop in a borrowed tent. Still in business in 1916, Power constructed a . . . Map (db m142137) HM
78Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — T.C. Power Dry Goods Store
T. C. Power and Bro. was founded in 1868 at approximately this location. Initially housed in a wooden building, the store was moved in 1879 to a large brick structure across the street. When the firm expanded, a hardware store was built next door . . . Map (db m142135) HM
79Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — The Choteau House
Originally a pretentious two-story frame hotel familiar to all rivermen, the Choteau House was built in the spring of 1868. T.C. Power and I.G. Baker constructed the building between their businesses to rival Overland up the street. At . . . Map (db m142289) HM
80Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — The Engage's Quarters
In 1850 this building housed families of the engages in the two large second-story rooms accessed by two exterior stairways. It was communal living, but it was warmer and better living than a tepee. Downstairs were shops for the skilled craftsmen. A . . . Map (db m142449) HM
81Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — The Little Shell ChippewaTribe in Search of Recognition
You stand now on the ancestral homeland of nomadic native tribes whose territories overlapped in the Missouri River area-all of them drawn by the rich diversity of life sustained by the river itself. Blackfeet, Gros Ventre, Sioux and Assiniboine all . . . Map (db m161481) HM
82Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — The Montana Memorial
The Lewis and Clark Memorial was Fort Benton's contribution to the Nation's Bicentennial in 1976 and is the State of Montana's official memorial to the Expedition. Total cost was $175,000. The statue is heroic-sized (1/6 larger than actual). It . . . Map (db m142244) HM
83Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Thomas Francis Meager
Ceannaire mor Eireanach aoibhinn agus onorach Thomas Francis Meager 1823 Ireland - 1867 Montana Irish Patriot American Civil War Hero Acting Governor, Montana Territory A few yards from here Meagher met his mysterious Fate on . . . Map (db m142255) HM
84Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Upriver Businesses
Back from the levee that was cluttered with their freight and warehouses stood the uptown merchant's establishments. Carroll and Steell founded the first mercantile in 1864. Murphy, Neil and Co., Kleinschmidt Bros. and W.S. Wetzel built here as well . . . Map (db m161658) HM
85Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — War Dogs Memorial
In Memory of over 4000 U.S. Military working dogs that served in the Vietnam War when the war was over these dogs were left behind in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia (back) In Memory of over 4000 U.S. . . . Map (db m142169) WM
86Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Whoop Up TrailWhoop Up Country
After the days of the gold rush, the most important trade route from Fort Benton was the Whoop Up Trail. Begun during the whiskey trade, it developed into the major supply route to Alberta and much of Saskatchewan. Whiskey traders carried their . . . Map (db m161588) HM
87Montana (Chouteau County), Fort Benton — Whoop-up Trail
North from Fort Benton ran another wagon road to Canada, the famous Whoop-up Trail. Whiskey traders carried supplies north and brought buffalo robes south to Fort Benton for transport down river by steamboat. Later the Whoop-up Trail supplied the . . . Map (db m142018) HM
88Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — A Montana Crossroads
The Missouri River once flowed northeasterly through this valley to Hudson Bay. During the Bull Lake Ice Age, an ice dam near Loma diverted the river into its current channel. This channel began filling with glacial sediment, preventing the river . . . Map (db m142526) HM
89Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — Decision at the MariasLewis in Blackfoot Country
On the evening of June 2, 1805 the Corps of Discovery arrived at the mouth of an unknown river flowing from the north. The river had not been mentioned by the Hidatsa nor was it noted on their maps. The two rivers were equal is size. Which was the . . . Map (db m142527) HM
90Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — Decision Point
The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped at the confluence of the Marias and Missouri rivers on June 2-12, 1805. The long stay allowed the group to rest and contemplate a dilemma. Which river flowed over the "Great Falls" described by the Mandan . . . Map (db m161801) HM
91Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — Decision Point
The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped at the confluence of the Marias and Missouri rivers on June 2-12, 1805. The long stay allowed the group to rest and contemplate a dilemma. Which river flowed over the "Great Falls" described by the Mandan . . . Map (db m161805) HM
92Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — Exploring the North ForkLewis in Blackfoot Country
Meriwether Lewis climbed up the drainage for their camp at the mouth of the Marias, where he reached a "commanding eminence" (where you are standing) and described the North Mountains (Bears Paw Mountains) and "the Barn Mountain (Square Butte). He . . . Map (db m142528) HM
93Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — Fort Piegan
Led by James Kipp, 75 employees of the American Fur Company arrived at the Marias in 1831 to build a post for trade with the Piegan Indians. They soon encountered a large party of Piegan, and Kipp staved off trouble by persuading the chiefs to . . . Map (db m161804) HM
94Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail1804 • Commemorating 200 Years • 2004 — Lewis & Clark Campsite June 2 - 11, 1805 —
Map (db m161807) HM
95Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — Marias River
The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped at the mouth of the river just east of here June 3, 1805. The Piegan people called it "The River that Scolds at all Others," but Lewis named it Maria's River in honor of his cousin, Miss Maria Wood (over time . . . Map (db m142488) HM
96Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — Ophir
As envisioned, the City of Ophir was to rival Fort Benton. It was to have ferries across the Missouri River, warehouses, docks, wharves, wagon routes, and a few associated businesses. Construction began in 1865, Soon, 400 lots had been surveyed and . . . Map (db m161802) HM
97Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — The Manitoba Railroad
The railroad grade you see before you was the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad, the precursor of the Great Northern Railway. In 1887, nearly 9,000 men constructed 550 miles of track across Montana's northern Great Plains between Minot and . . . Map (db m142486) HM
98Montana (Chouteau County), Loma — Victims of Blood Indians Massacre
Erected by J.H. Friend's Family Descendants of Franklin Friend for the Victims of Blood Indians Massacre May 25, 1865 Franklin Friend - George W. Friend Abraham Lotts - John Alley John Andrews - N.W. Burris Frank Angeline - Henry . . . Map (db m142490) HM
99Montana (Chouteau County), Virgelle — Coal Banks Landing
Coal Banks Landing takes its name from the dark layer of lignite coal in the hillsides. The landing was used by steamboats during the Indian War of 1876-77 and the construction of Fort Assinniboine on the northwest side of the Bears Paw . . . Map (db m161806) HM
100Montana (Chouteau County), Virgelle — Virgelle State Bank
Homesteaders, travelers, and railroad crews helped the tiny town of Virgelle thrive during the 1910s. Town founder Virgil Blankenbaker chartered the Virgelle State Bank in 1917 where he, his brother-in-law John G. Chancellor, C. J. McNamara, and . . . Map (db m161664) HM

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Nov. 26, 2022