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Deer Lodge
Historical Marker on Hwy 2 & Rte 66, east of Harlem.

Deerlodge is nestled in the beautiful Deer Lodge Valley and has three mountain ranges towering nearby: the Flint Creek Mountain Range to the west, the Garnet Mountain Range to the north, and the Pintler Mountain Range to the south. The Clark Fork River traverses the valley, as do many lakes and streams in the area. The valley was once called "Lodge of the White-Tailed Deer" by Native Americans, but Deerlodge actually got its name from a salt lick popular with deer during the frontier days. Deer Lodge is an early mining town from the 1860s, that didn’t die, but turned to other pursuits.

Today, at the heart of this town is a huge array of history as well as recreation. Some attractions of this town are: the Old Montana Prison, Yesterday’s Playthings, Montana Auto Museum, Little Joe Engine, and the Powell County History Museum and Gallery. The prison, which predates the statehood of Montana, was opened in 1871.

Excerpted from "The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia".

Warm Springs

Named for the hot water springs nearby, the town is the home of the state mental facility. Native Americans and early settlers referred to Warm Springs as "the deer lodge", because of the large rust colored 40-foot-tall travertine mound that the springs flow from. Large number of deer were often seen grazing near the mound. The mound is now covered and protected and no bathing is allowed.

A small resort was built at Warm Springs in the 1860s. The property was later sold to two doctors who were partners in a contract to care for those residents of the Territory of Montana who were, back then, called insane. The asylum opened in 1873. In 1912 the state purchased the mental institution and has continued to expand and renovate the property. All of the original buildings were demolished as age took it’s toll on them.

Excerpted from "The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia".

Copyright © 2003 Michael Dougherty. Use of this material for radio and television programs, printed media, webcasting, and any other source of mass dissemination is prohibited without permission of the publisher.

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