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Historical Markers in Powell County, Montana

 
Clickable Map of Powell County, Montana and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil; HMdb.org; J.J.Prats/dc:title> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Usa_counties_large.svg Powell County, MT (51) Deer Lodge County, MT (53) Flathead County, MT (129) Granite County, MT (35) Jefferson County, MT (19) Lewis and Clark County, MT (156) Missoula County, MT (143)  PowellCounty(51) Powell County (51)  DeerLodgeCounty(53) Deer Lodge County (53)  FlatheadCounty(129) Flathead County (129)  GraniteCounty(35) Granite County (35)  JeffersonCounty(19) Jefferson County (19)  LewisandClarkCounty(156) Lewis and Clark County (156)  MissoulaCounty(143) Missoula County (143)
Deer Lodge is the county seat for Powell County
Adjacent to Powell County, Montana
      Deer Lodge County (53)  
      Flathead County (129)  
      Granite County (35)  
      Jefferson County (19)  
      Lewis and Clark County (156)  
      Missoula County (143)  
 
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1Montana, Powell County, Avon — The Valley of a Thousand Haystacks
The Little Blackfoot Valley is filled with lush hay fields. You already may have noticed the rounded haystacks and commented on the strange lodgepole structures standing in many of the fields. This contraption that looks like a cross between a . . . Map (db m71949) HM
2Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — "...but of lasting peace, let them kill, skin and sell until the buffaloes are exterminated.Then your prairies can be covered with speckled cattle and the festive cowboy..." — General Philip Sheridan, 1875 —
For thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, American Indians thrived in what is now the American West. Many tribes depended on bison (buffalo) for food, clothing, shelter, trade, and much more. When white settlers set their sights on . . . Map (db m210110) HM
3Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — 1870-1931 Federal BuildingOld Montana Prison
The first prison building was constructed on this site in 1870 while Montana was still a territory of the United States. It served as a territorial prison and federal penitentiary. In 1889, when Montana attained statehood, it became the Montana . . . Map (db m127793) HM
4Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — 1896 Cell HouseOld Montana Prison
Overcrowding reached a critical point by the spring of 1896. The cell capacity of 182 was exceeded by 150 prisoners who were confined in a single log building without cells. The log building was deemed “insecure, unsafe and liable to . . . Map (db m127791) HM
5Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — 1909 Last Spike MonumentThe Milwaukee Road
The last spike of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad’s (better known as the Milwaukee Road) Puget Sound Extension connecting Chicago to Seattle was driven near Gold Creek, Montana some 17 miles west of here on May 19, 1909. This . . . Map (db m127775) HM
6Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — 1912 Cell HouseOld Montana Prison
To ease increasing overcrowded conditions, the 1912 Cell House was constructed, adding two hundred cells to the prison complex. Erected in only eleven months using convict labor, the cell house was a model facility for its day. Each cell had running . . . Map (db m127797) HM
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7Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — 1931 Administration BuildingOld Montana Prison
This administration building was the heart of security and prison operations. Here new prisoners were admitted, inmates received visitors, and departing prisoners were counseled about outside employment. The main floor contained the offices of the . . . Map (db m127794) HM
8Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — 1959 RiotOld Montana Prison
On the afternoon of April 16, Jerry Myles and Lee Smart led a band of inmates in a violent riot against prison authorities. Seizing a rifle from the catwalk guard, they took control of the 1912 cell house. Forcing their way into the . . . Map (db m96539) HM
9Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — 304 CottonwoodThis Property Contributes to Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
Only the jail, the county courthouse, the Episcopal Church, and a few Main Street businesses boasted two stories when this frame building joined their ranks, sometime before 1884. That year the false-front building served as a combination residence . . . Map (db m209558) HM
10Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Beaverslide Haystacker
The fields around you provide hay for the herd through the winter when grasses are dormant and covered with snow. With the transition from open range to modern ranching, growing hay became a necessity. Loose hay stacks were the first method of . . . Map (db m210114) HM
11Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Capt. John Mullan Trail1853 - 1868
Surveyor and Constructor of The Military Road from Fort Benton, Montana to Walla Walla, Wash completed 1862 Erected under the Auspices of Montana Society of Pioneers Contributed by The son and daughters of Captain . . . Map (db m209641) HM
12Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
Bounded Cottonwood Avenue to north, Montana Avenue to south, 2nd Street to west and 4th Street to east, Deer Lodge, Montana Situated on a key gold rush trail, Deer Lodge grew into an important ranching and retail center during the 1860s. By 1869, . . . Map (db m209484) HM
13Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Deer Lodge Post Office
The first post office in Deer Lodge was established on May 21, 1866. It was one of the earliest post offices in Montana. Mail service to the early settlers of the Deer Lodge Valley was very expensive and very slow. Letters and parcels were either . . . Map (db m128356) HM
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14Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Deer Lodge Women's League Chapter House
Woman suffrage was at the political forefront when Edward Gardner Lewis, a St. Louis promoter and publisher of women’s magazines, founded the American Women’s League in 1908. Lewis saw the League as the perfect means to promote American womanhood . . . Map (db m210038) HM
15Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Electrified RailroadThe Milwaukee Road
The Anaconda Company’s Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway converted from steam to electric locomotives in 1914. Aware of Anaconda’s success, Milwaukee electrified its Rocky Mountain division between Harlowton through Deer Lodge to Avery, Idaho in . . . Map (db m127777) HM
16Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Equal in the Saddle
The ranch's cowboys used to live in the bunkhouse in front of you. At the end of a long day, you might have heard them talking in many languages. Cowboys were a diverse group. Along with Americans and Europeans of Dutch, English, German, . . . Map (db m210241) HM
17Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Execution of George RockOld Montana Prison
On this site in 1908, George Rock was executed by hanging. A year later, William Hayes met a similar fate. Rock and Hayes killed Deputy Warden John Robinson and severely wounded Warden Frank Conley in an escape attempt. Conley surprised the . . . Map (db m127795) HM
18Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Feeding a Hungary NationGrant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
In the mid-1860s the land around you was part of a vast open range where cattle grazed freely. Unfenced public land allowed ranges to extend from Mexico to Canada. Beef from open range cattle fueled a growing population. It fed factory workers . . . Map (db m210107) HM
19Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — From Range to Market
The open range cattle industry boomed by feeding the expanding urban population in the East. Cowboys herded cattle to rail heads where they were transported to those markets in cattle cars, like the ones you see down the track to you left. Those . . . Map (db m212231) HM
20Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Good Fences Make Bad Neighbors?Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
The Homestead Act of 1862 and the Desert Land Act of 1877 allowed private land ownership. Homesteaders had to build fences to keep out the open range cattle. Their work became easier when the 1874 Glidden patent lead to the large-scale production of . . . Map (db m210112) HM
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21Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Home on the Range
For cowboys on the open range, chuckwagons like this one were the closest they got to home for weeks at a time. They gathered here for food, companionship, and sleep. The cook served up coffee, beans, rice, sourdough breads and occasional . . . Map (db m210250) HM
22Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Larabie Brothers BankThis Property Contributes to Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
Wide cement pilasters, a gabled pediment above the entrance, large plate-glass windows, and a roofline balustrade distinguish the Larabie Bros. Bank. The building’s solid construction, dignified façade, and luxurious interior—finished in marble and . . . Map (db m209635) HM
23Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Masonic LodgeThis Property Contributes to Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
The Ancient Free and Accepted Masons offered its members support, camaraderie, connections, and community. To the geographically mobile men of the Montana frontier, nothing was more valuable. In 1870, Deer Lodge became home to the fourteenth Masonic . . . Map (db m209434) HM
24Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Mitchell BlockThis Property Contributes to Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
Deer Lodge flourished after its designation in 1908 as a division point for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Housing, dining, and entertainment were then at a premium. The Mitchell Block opened in 1913 to help fill these . . . Map (db m209481) HM
25Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — N.J. (Nick) Bielenberg Home
Pioneer stockman, financier, and mining investor Nick Bielenberg came to Montana via Fort Benton in 1865. He, his brothers John and Charles, and half-brother Conrad Kohrs were all butchers by trade. They eventually settled in Deer Lodge. During the . . . Map (db m210041) HM
26Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — National Bank BuildingThis Property Contributes to Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
The December 1910 issue of Moody’s Magazine: The International Investors’ Monthly predicted a strong future for Deer Lodge’s new U.S. National Bank. The community only had one other bank, and the local economic forecast was bright, especially since . . . Map (db m209478) HM
27Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — On the RanchGrant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
Long hours of summer sunshine and warm temperatures allow the vegetation to actively grow this time of year. The fields have been fertilized with manure and the hay crops have been planted and are actively growing. Irrigation is the very . . . Map (db m210108) HM
28Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Ranching Traditions - A New Generation
Kohr's grandson, Conrad Kohrs Warren, spent many summers with his grandparents, He gained a passion for ranching from watching and helping his great-uncle, John Bielenberg, on the ranch. In 1932 he took over ranch management. Like his ancestors, . . . Map (db m212230) HM
29Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Rialto TheatreThis Property Contributes to Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
“What you hear and what you will see will linger in your memory like a beautiful dream,” proclaimed the Powell County Press when the Rialto Theatre opened with a glittering production of the opera Robin Hood in May of 1921. The Butte architectural . . . Map (db m209479) HM
30Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — SafewayThis Property Contributes to Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
Before 1910, grocery store customers typically purchased food on credit. They relied on clerks to fill their orders and delivery boys to carry their packages home. By 1915, “groceterias” began experimenting with a new model that offered lower prices . . . Map (db m209436) HM
31Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Siberia EastOld Montana Prison
So called for their isolation, the cells located in the towers of this cell house were used to remove troublesome inmates from the rest of the prison population. Inmates assigned to the Siberia cells had committed major rule infractions, or in rare . . . Map (db m127796) HM
32Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — The Long and Short of Cattle Breeds
The ranch herd today consists of many breeds raised during the open range era. Hardy and adaptable, the Texas Longhorn breed was well suited to live on the open range. Evolved from Spanish cattle, the Texas Longhorn is the only breed which traces . . . Map (db m210248) HM
33Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — The Old Montana PrisonOld Montana Prison
Gold was discovered near Deer Lodge in 1862. Subsequent discoveries in Bannack and Virginia City prompted a gold rush that attracted men and women of both good and bad character. Thievery, lawlessness, and murder prevailed until vigilante groups . . . Map (db m127789) HM
34Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Thompson Photo ShopThis Property Contributes to Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
Hiding behind its brick façade is one of the oldest standing buildings in the business district. Before the Northern Pacific arrived in 1883, Deer Lodge builders relied on locally available materials. They constructed walls from wood or rubble stone . . . Map (db m209560) HM
35Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Trask Hall
Eleven years before statehood, Deer Lodge became home to Montana’s first postsecondary school: the Montana Collegiate Institute. The nonsectarian, coeducational college offered both high school classes and a classical graduating course “as . . . Map (db m210042) HM
36Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Two Immigrants Shared an American Dream
John Francis Grant Grant chose this ranch site for its rich grasslands, abundance of water, and the sheltered valley. He completed this house in 1862 as a trading post and family home. He first traded cattle with emigrants on the . . . Map (db m210236) HM
37Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — U.S. Post OfficeThis Property Contributes to Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
Banker S. E. Larabie financed the construction of this one-story brick post office in 1911. The Silver State pronounced it “the finest post office of any city of its size in Montana.” The interior featured finished oak, while protective wire . . . Map (db m209482) HM
38Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Vaquero vs. Cowboy
North American cowboys can trace their roots back to the Spanish conquistadors, who brought cattle and horses to the New World. Mexican cowboys, known as vaqueros, developed methods on horsemanship and working cattle in the rugged terrain that is . . . Map (db m212229) HM
39Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — William E. Coleman House
Seventeen-year-old William Coleman joined the Union ranks of Ohio’s volunteer infantry during the Civil War and then, drawn by tales of gold, came west with his brother Lewis in 1866. Although trained as a carriage blacksmith, Coleman preferred . . . Map (db m210037) HM
40Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — William K. Kohrs Memorial Library
Pioneer cattle baron Conrad Kohrs and his wife, Augusta, gave Powell County’s first public library building to the community of Deer Lodge in memory of their son, William, in 1902. William had gone to Columbia University in New York to study . . . Map (db m209646) HM
41Montana, Powell County, Deer Lodge — Winter of 1886Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
This area’s climate includes dramatic fluctuations. As you imagine yourself ranching here, consider the effects of one winter during the heydays of the open ranch. The snowy winter of 1886-87 devastated the cattle ranches of Montana. Cattle already . . . Map (db m62050) HM
42Montana, Powell County, Elliston — Over a Billion Years of Montana's Geological History
From this overlook you can see areas of very old rock and nearly relatively young deposits. The Big Belt Mountains on the skyline east of Helena Valley in the far distance are primarily composed of Belt Supergroup rocks deposited about 1.4 billion . . . Map (db m188669) HM
43Montana, Powell County, Elliston — The Frenchwoman's Road
Constant Guyot built a toll road across the Continental Divide near here in 1867. Because it provided the most direct way over the mountains between Deer Lodge and Helena, it was a popular route for travelers. Guyot's wife ran a two-room . . . Map (db m127754) HM
44Montana, Powell County, Elliston — The Mullan Road
From this point west to the Idaho line, US Highway 12 and I-90 follows the route of a military road located and constructed in Montana between 1859 - 62 by Captain John Mullan. The road was 624 miles long and connected Fort Benton, Montana, with . . . Map (db m71950) HM
45Montana, Powell County, Garrison — First Discovery of Gold in Montana
Opposite this point a creek flows into the Clark Fork River from the west. In 1852, a French mixed-blood named Francois “Benetsee,” Finlay, prospected the creek for placer gold. Although he raised some color, Finlay was ill-equipped to . . . Map (db m71948) HM
46Montana, Powell County, Garrison — Site of the First Log House in the Deer Lodge Valley
. . . Map (db m127755) HM
47Montana, Powell County, Goldcreek — Glacial Lake Missoula
During the last ice age about 18,000 years ago, an enormous glacier pushed down from British Columbia and blocked the Clark Fork River in northern Idaho. The glacier functioned as an ice dam creating the largest glacial lake known to have existed, . . . Map (db m212233) HM
48Montana, Powell County, Goldcreek — The Northern Pacific Railway's Last Spike Celebration
While the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway was an epic undertaking, the celebration to mark its completion was less than extraordinary. The railroad's president, Henry Villard, planned a last spike ceremony for September 8, 1883 near the . . . Map (db m212232) HM
49Montana, Powell County, Ovando — Early Ovando Years
Three panels make-up this marker. (Panel 1:) Ovando Town History This area around Ovando was visited for centuries by various Indian tribes who followed "Cokalahiskit," the River of the Trail of the Buffalo. Now called the Big . . . Map (db m144062) HM
50Montana, Powell County, Ovando — The Bob Marshall Wilderness Country
North of here lies the second largest wilderness in the lower 48 states. Made up of the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Great Bear wilderness areas, its north end abuts Glacier National Park, creating a continuous corridor of unspoiled mountains and . . . Map (db m23926) HM
51Montana, Powell County, Ovando — The Lewis Minus Clark ExpeditionLewis through Blackfoot Country
One their return trip from the Pacific Coast, the Corps of Discovery split into two parties at Travelers Rest (just south of Missoula, Montana) on July 1, 1806. Clark proceeded south down the route they had come in 1805 along the Bitterroot . . . Map (db m144057) HM
 
 
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Feb. 7, 2023