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The Place Where the White Horse Went Down - Historical Marker

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Billings Heights 59105,Billings Area

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Located in Billings Heights Area

In 1837-38 a smallpox epidemic spread from the American Fur Trading Company steamboat St. Peter which had docked at Fort Union. The terrible disease for which the Indians had no immunity eventually affected all Montana tribes. A story is told among the Crow of two young warriors returning from a war expedition who found their village stricken. One discovered his sweetheart among the dying, and both warriors, grieving over loss of friends and family, were despondent and frustrated because nothing could alter the course of events. The young warriors dressed in their finest clothing and mounted a snowwhite horse. Riding double and singing their death-songs, they drove the blindfolded horse over a cliff and landed at what is now the eastern end of the Yellowstone County Exhibition grounds. Six teenage boys and six teenage girls who were not afflicted with the disease witnessed the drama; they buried the dead warriors and left the camp. Great loss of life among the tribe followed in the wake of the epidemic. Although time has reduced the height of the cliff, the location is remembered even today as The Place Where the White Horse Went Down.

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