Custom Search
Old Fort Gilbert
Highway Marker north of Sidney on Mt 200.

“Old Fort Gilbert” was situated directly east of this point on the west bank of the Yellowstone River. The Fort was named after Colonel Gilbert, onetime commanding officer at Fort Buford, and existed between the years 1864 and 1867. It was used as a trading center in the lower Yellowstone Valley. This point also marks the south boundary of the Fort Buford Military Reservation, which post operated for many years on the north bank of the Missouri River at the mouth of the Yellowstone. By taking the side road just north of here and going west a short distance to Fort Gilbert Lookout Point, on the bluffs, you have an excellent view of the Yellowstone Valley. Well worth the drive.

It Happened in Montana--Three Friends (Sorta)

The name Mike Fink is legendary along the Ohio River Valley. But few know he met his end in Montana. Fink, along with friends William Carpenter and Levi Talbot, followed Major Andrew Henry up the Missouri to the mouth of the Yellowstone where they established Fort Henry. Fink and his friends moved west from the fort and established an encampment at the mouth of the Musselshell River where they spent the winter. For who knows what reason, tempers flared between Fink and Carpenter, then cooled, then flared again. When they returned to Fort Henry in the spring, they appeared to be on good terms. To celebrate the renewed friendship, Fink suggested they play a game they had played often in the past. The object was to shoot a whiskey-filled tin cup from the other’s head. Carpenter reluctantly agreed, a coin was tossed, and Fink won the first shot. Most of the occupants of the fort watched as Fink took sixty paces, turned, and drew a bead with his flintlock rifle. Carpenter wasn’t sure Fink had forgiven him and was shaky. “Hold your noodle steady, Carpenter, and don’t spill the whiskey, as I shall want some presently,” Fink yelled. The rifle cracked and the crowd watched in amazement as Carpenter fell dead to the ground, a bloody hole in the center of his forehead. “Carpenter, you have spilled the whiskey,” Fink exclaimed as he calmly turned and walked back into the fort. Initially denying his intent to kill Carpenter, a few weeks later in a drunken stupor he boasted to Talbot, “I shot him like I would a dog!” At those words, Talbot drew the pistol left to him by Carpenter and shot Fink, killing him instantly. Talbot wasn’t charged; most of the people at the fort knew Fink deserved his fate. Talbot, while fighting the Arikara Indians on the upper Missouri, drowned while attempting to swim across the Teton River.

Home | Free Brochures | Bookstore | Visit Montana | Live in Montana | Montana Communities | Search
Copyright © 2012 New Times Media Corporation - All Rights Reserved