Father De Smet

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Father De Smet

Whitehall 59759,Butte Area

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Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric SitesLewis and Clark Expedition
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Location: I-90 Frontage Rd., Whitehall

The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed here, westward bound, August 2, 1805. Captain Lewis named the Boulder River “Fields Creek” for one of the party.

In August, 1840, Pierre Jean De Smet, S.J., a Catholic missionary of Belgian birth, camped near the mouth of the Boulder River with the Flathead Indians and celebrated the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Father De Smet left the Indians soon after to go to St. Louis. He returned the following year and established the original St. Mary’s Mission in the Bitter Root Valley, hereditary home of the Flatheads. Fearless and zealous, his many experiences during the pioneer days have been chronicled and form a most interesting chapter in the frontier annals of Montana.

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