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Historical Markers/Interpretive Sign

Historical Markers/Interpretive Sign

Historical markers and interpretive signs are all along the highways and towns expressing remarkable history and stories about Montana!

Historical markers and interpretive signs are all along the highways and towns expressing remarkable history and stories about Montana!




1. Pierre Wibaux - Historical Marker

 Wibaux, Southeast Montana
In 1876, this was strictly buffalo and Indian country. There wasn’t a ranch between Bismarck, North Dakota, and Bozeman, Montana.

2. St. Peter's Catholic Church - Historical Marker

 Wibaux, Southeast Montana
Dismayed that his son's adoptive home had no Catholic church, Frenchman Achille Wibaux instructed Pierre to build one here.

3. Glendive - Historical Marker

 Glendive, Southeast Montana
A yachting party consisting of Capt. Wm. Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, six of his men, Sacajawea and her child floated by here August 1, 1806, navigating a craft made by lashing together two hollowed-out cottonwood logs.

4. The Yellowstone River - Historical Marker

 Fallon, Southeast Montana
Interstate 90 generally follows the Yellowstone River from Glendive to Livingston, Montana. This river originates south of Yellowstone National Park and terminates when it joins the Missouri River north of here.

5. Powder River - Historical Marker

 Fallon, Southeast Montana
This is the river that exuberant parties claim is a mile wide, an inch deep, and runs uphill.

6. Rosebud - Historical Marker

 Fallon, Southeast Montana
From July 28, 1806, when Wm. Clark passed Rosebud Creek on his way down the Yellowstone, this river valley has served as one of the major avenues for development and trade in eastern Montana.

7. Cattle Brands - Historical Marker

Historical highway marker depicting various cattle brands.

8. The Rosebud River - Historical Marker

 Rosebud, Southeast Montana
This stream was noted by Captain Wm. Clark July 28th, 1806, when he was descending the Yellowstone River.

9. Wagon Road - Historical Marker

 Baker, Southeast Montana
Around these gumbo buttes and across these ridges and valleys, the old trail wended its way between Ft. Lincoln on the Missouri River in Dakota Territory and Ft. Keogh on the Yellowstone River in Montana.

10. Powder River - Historical Marker

 Fallon, Southeast Montana
When a top rider from this part of the country is forking the hurricane deck of a sun-fishing, fuzztail, some of his pals are prone to sit on the rope rail of the corral, emitting advice and hollering “Powder River!

11. After the Roundup - Historical Marker

 Miles City, Southeast Montana
D. J. O’Malley grew up living at frontier forts because his stepfather served in the 19th Infantry.

12. Ekalaka - Historical Marker

 Ekalaka, Southeast Montana
Some people claim an old buffalo hunter figured that starting a thirst emporium for parched cowpunchers on this end of the range would furnish him a more lucrative and interesting vocation than downing buffalo.

13. The Powder River Country - Historical Marker

 Broadus, Southeast Montana
From its source in central Wyoming to its union with the Yellowstone River, the Powder River is 250 miles Long “A mile wide and an inch deep; too thick to drink and too thin to plow.”

14. Southeastern Montana - Historical Marker

 Broadus, Southeast Montana
The first white man to enter Montana was Pierre de La Verendrye, a French explorer, who arrived in this corner of the state on New Year’s Day, 1743.

15. Bozeman Trail - Historical Marker

 Norris, Bozeman Area
In 1840, the Oregon Trail was the primary emigration route across the northern part of the United States.

16. Madison Valley - Historic Marker

 McAllister, Bozeman Area
Settlement of the Madison Valley followed on the heels of the Gold Rush to Alder Gulch in the mid 1860s.

17. Raynold’s Pass - Historical Marker

 Ennis, Bozeman Area
The low gap in the mountains on the sky line south of here is Raynolds Pass over the Continental Divide.

18. Targhee Pass

 West Yellowstone, Big Sky/Yellowstone Area
This pass across the Continental Divide takes its name from an early-day Bannack Chief. Free trappers and fur brigades of the Missouri River and Rocky Mountain Fur companies were familiar with the surrounding country...

19. Union Pacific Dining Hall - Historical Marker

 West Yellowstone, Big Sky/Yellowstone Area
As tourism blossomed during the first decades of the twentieth century, the Union Pacific Railroad considered how to better accommodate travelers.

20. Madison Hotel - Historical Marker

 West Yellowstone, Big Sky/Yellowstone Area
The Forest Service granted Jess Pierman a special-use permit to build a hotel and restaurant here in 1910.

21. The 1959 Earthquake - Historical Marker

 West Yellowstone, Big Sky/Yellowstone Area
On August 17, 1959, at 11:37 P.M., this spectacularly scenic section of Montana became the focus of worldwide attention and made modern history.

22. The Three Forks of the Missouri - Historical Marker

 Three Forks, Bozeman Area
This region was alive with beaver, otter and game before the white man came. It was disputed hunting territory with the Indian tribes.

23. Gallatin Valley - Historical Marker

 Bozeman, Bozeman Area
Captain Wm. Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with a party of ten men, passed through this valley July 14, 1806, eastward bound, and guided by the Shoshone woman, Sacajawea.

24. Yellowstone River Trading Posts

 Hysham, Billings Area
Even before the Lewis and Clark Expedition returned to St. Louis in 1806, enterprising fur traders looked to the upper Missouri and Yellowstone rivers as a source of profit.

25. Junction

 Custer, Billings Area
The frontier town of Junction was just across the Yellowstone River.

26. Junction of Big Horn & Yellowstone Rivers

 Custer, Billings Area
The area which surrounds the mouth of the Big Horn River as it enters the Yellowstone 13 miles east of here is one of the most significant areas in the early history of Montana.

27. Camp #44 of the 1873 Yellowstone Expedition

 Billings, Billings Area
In June, 1873, a Northern Pacific Railroad surveying party escorted by 1,500 soldiers, including the 7th Cavalry under the command of George Armstrong Custer, and 526 civilians, left Dakota Territory for the Yellowstone Valley.

28. Pompey's Pillar

 Pompeys Pillar, Billings Area
Pompey’s Pillar National Historic Landmark contains exceptional cultural, recreational and wildlife values.

29. Place Where the Mountain Lion Dwells

 Pompeys Pillar, Billings Area
Called lishbiia Anaache or “Place Where the Mountain Lion Dwells’ by the Apsaalooka (Crow) people, Pompey’s Pillar was a well-known landmark to the Plains Indians.

30. The Place Where the White Horse Went Down - Historical Marker

 Billings Heights, Billings 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.

31. Garryowen

 Garryowen, Billings Area
Garryowen, the old Irish tune, was the regimental marching song of the 7th Cavalry, General Custer’s command.

32. Buffalo Country Historical Marker

 Glasgow, Northeast Montana
Buffalo meant life to the Plains Indians, and the mountain Indians used to slip down from the hills for their share, too.

33. Fort C.F. Smith

 Saint Xavier, Billings Area
The ruins of this military post are about 25 miles west of here. In August 1866, two companies of soldiers guided by Jim Bridger established the fort on a plain overlooking the Big Horn.

34. Columbus

 Columbus, Red Lodge Area
The town of Columbus is located about 9 miles west of here.

35. Park City

 Park City, Red Lodge Area
The town of Park City is located about seven miles east of here. In 1882, a colony from Ripon, Wisconsin, making the trip in the prairie schooners, settled in this region.

36. The Pryor Mountains

 Bridger, Red Lodge Area
Location: At Bridger Rest Area on U.S. 310 The Pryor Mountains to the east cover roughly 300,000 acres. Once entirely Crow Indian territory, now only the north end of the range is on the Crow Reservation.

37. Jim Bridger, Mountain Man

 Bridger, Red Lodge Area
Jim Bridger arrived in Montana in 1822 as a member of a Rocky Mountain Fur Co. brigade.

38. Smith Mine Disaster

 Washoe, Red Lodge Area
The tragedy at Smith Mine became Montanas worst coal mine disaster.

39. Bearcreek

 Washoe, Red Lodge Area
Platted in 1905 by George Lamport and Robert Leavens, Bearcreek was the center of an extensive underground coal mining district.

40. Red Lodge

 Red Lodge, Red Lodge Area
Coal was discovered in the Rock Creek Valley nearly two decades before Red Lodge was established as a mail stop on the Meteetsee Trail in 1884.

41. The Red Lodge Country

 Red Lodge, Red Lodge Area
According to tradition, a band of Crow Indians left the main tribe and moved west into the foothills of the Beartooth Range many years ago.

42. Chief Plenty Coups Statue Marker

 Red Lodge, Red Lodge Area
Crow country once ranged from Three Forks to the Black Hills, from the Musselshell to the Big Horn Mountains.

43. The Thomas Party

 Greycliff, Livingston Area
In 1866, William Thomas, his son Charles, and a driver named Schultz left southern Illinois bound for the Gallatin Valley, Montana.

44. Captain Wm. Clark

 Greycliff, Livingston Area
You are now following the historic trail of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. On his return from the Pacific in July 1806, Captain Clark camped for six days about forty miles downstream, near Park City.

45. The Crazy Mountains Historical Marker

 Greycliff, Livingston Area
Called Awaxaawippiia by the Apsaalooka (Crow) Indians, the Crazy Mountains, which you can see to the northwest, are an igneous formation forged about 50 million years ago.

46. The Bonanza or Bozeman Trail

 Big Timber, Livingston Area
In the early 1860s, there wasn’t a ranch in this country from Bismarck to Bozeman and from the Platte River to Canada. To whites it was land considered “fit only to raise Indians” and while some of them were hoping for a crop failure,

47. The Original Voges Bridge

 Big Timber, Livingston Area
In late 1913, Sweet Grass County residents petitioned the County Commissioners to build a bridge across the Yellowstone River west of Big Timber.

48. Bozeman Pass

 Livingston, Livingston Area
Sacajawea, the Shoshone woman who guided portions of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, led Captain Wm. Clark and his party of ten men over an old buffalo road through this pass on July 15, 1806.

49. Emigrant Gulch

 Emigrant, Livingston Area
A party of emigrants who had traveled with a wagon train across the Plains via the Bozeman or Bonanza Trail arrived in this gulch August 28, 1864.

50. The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

 Pray, Livingston Area
The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, which lies to the east, contains the largest single expanse of land above 10,000 feet in elevation in the United States.

51. Cooke City

 Cooke City-Silver Gate, Big Sky/Yellowstone Area
In 1868 a party of prospectors came into this country by way of Soda Butte Creek. They found rich float but were set afoot by Indians.

52. Shields River Valley

 Wilsall, Livingston Area
This river was named by Capt. Wm. Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in honor of John Shields, a member of the party.

53. Father De Smet

 Whitehall, Butte Area
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.

54. Lewis & Clark Expedition

 Whitehall, Butte Area
On August 1, 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped at a point 200 yards west from this spot, on the south bank of the river facing the mouth of the creek which flows into the river from the north.

55. The Humbug Spires Primitive Area

 Butte, Butte Area
Named for its unique granite peaks, this primitive area is part of a geologic system of large-scale volcanic intrusions known as the Boulder Batholith, which extends north beyond Helena and south into Idaho.

56. Meaderville

 Butte, Butte Area
William Allison and G.O. Humphreys had the Butte hill, the richest hill on earth, entirely to themselves when they located their first quartz claims there in 1864.

57. Butte Historical Marker

 Butte, Butte Area
The “greatest mining camp on earth” built on “the richest hill in the world.”

58. Jefferson Valley

 Twin Bridges, Butte Area
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, westward bound, came up the Jefferson River in August 1805.

59. Robbers' Roost

 Sheridan, Butte Area
In 1863, Pete Daly built a roadhouse on the stage route between Virginia City and Bannack to provide entertainment for, man and beast.

60. The Ruby Valley

 Alder, Butte Area
The Ruby River was called the Passamari by the Indians and became known as the Stinking Water to the whites in the pioneer days.

61. Nevada City

 Nevada City, Butte Area
A ghost town now, but once one of the hell roarin’ mining camps that lined Alder Gulch in the 1860s.

62. Virginia City

 Virginia City, Butte Area
All of Montana has the deepest pride and affection for Virginia City. No more colorful pioneer mining camp ever existed.

63. Adobetown

 Virginia City, Butte Area
Placer riches in Alder Gulch spawned many colorful communities. Among them, Adobetown flourished briefly as the center of mining activity in 1864. In that year alone, miners extracted over $350,000 in gold from nearby streams.

64. Elling Bank

 Virginia City, Butte Area
Bankers Nowland and Weary set up business in this brick-veneered building, one of the town’s oldest stone structures, in 1864.

65. Metropolitan Meat Market

 Virginia City, Butte Area
George Gohn was one of the first to arrive at Alder Gulch in 1863 where he and Conrad Kohrs set up a meat market in a log cabin.

66. Pfouts & Russel (Rank's Drug-Old Masonic Temple)

 Virginia City, Butte Area
Paris Pfouts, Vigilante president, and Virginia City’s first mayor was instrumental in laying out the town.

67. Beaverhead Rock

 Dillon, Butte Area
On August 10, 1805, members of the Lewis and Clark expedition pushed their way up the Jefferson River’s tributaries toward the Continental Divide and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

68. Browne's Bridge

 Apex, Butte Area
Browne’s Bridge was constructed as a toll bridge by Fred Burr and James Minesinger in late 1862 and early 1863.

69. Bannack Historical Marker

 Dillon, Butte Area
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, westward bound, passed here in August 1805. The old mining camp of Bannack is on Grasshopper Creek about twenty miles west of here.

70. The Montana-Utah Road

 Dell, Butte Area
Interstate 15 is the latest in a series of roads that have traversed this area since prehistory. Although used for generations by Native Americans, the first recorded use of this route was by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on August 10, 1805.

71. Old Trail to the Gold Diggins'

 Dell, Butte Area
Along in the early 1840s the Americans were like they are now, seething to go somewhere. It got around that Oregon was quite a place. The Iowa people hadn’t located California yet.

72. Sawtell's Ranch

 Monida, Butte Area
In 1868, Gilman Sawtell started a dude ranch and Henry’s Lake fishery that did much to develop this natural resort area.

73. The Shambo Stagecoach Station

 Monida, Butte Area
The historic Shambo waystation was once located on the opposite side of Shambo Pond. The station served as a livery and overnight stop for the Monida and Yellowstone which acted as a link between the railhead at Monida, Montana, and Yellowstone.

74. Kootenai River

 Libby, Northwest Montana
The river is named for the Kootenai tribe that lived and hunted in this part of Montana and adjoining territory in Idaho and Canada.

75. Tobacco Plains

 Eureka, Northwest Montana
During the fur trapping and trading days in the early part of the last century this corner of the state was remote and inaccessible from the customary trapping grounds and operating bases of the Americans.

76. Badrock Canyon

 Flathead Area
The Great Northern Railway was constructed through Badrock Canyon in 1891.

77. Surrounded by Wilderness

 Columbia Falls, Glacier Park Area
You are at the gateway to the upper Flathead River, which drains Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex (the “Bob”) and the southeastern corner of British Columbia.

78. Kalispell-Somers Railroad Spur Line

 Kalispell, Flathead Area
In 1901, Great Northern Railway tycoon James J. Hill and local businessman John O’Brien joined forces to build and operate a 11-mile railroad line to a sawmill on the north shore of Flathead Lake.

79. A Permanent and Substantial Road

 Bigfork, Flathead Area
In the early 20th century many roads in Montana were constructed by convicts from the state prison in Deer Lodge.

80. Lewis Minus Clark Expedition

 Missoula, Missoula Area
On 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

81. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Country (“The Bob”)

 Missoula Area
Location: Junction MT 200 & 141 North of here lies the second largest wilderness in the lower 48 states.

82. The Mission Mountain Wilderness

 Charlo, Missoula Area
The mountains rising to the east lie in the Mission Mountain Wilderness Area and the Mission Mountain Tribal Wilderness.

83. The Mission Valley

 Saint Ignatius, Missoula Area
The Mission Valley, called by the Indians “Place of Encirclement,” was occupied by bands of Salish and Kalispel speaking people when the white man came

84. Fort Connah

 Saint Ignatius, Missoula Area
Fort Connah, the last of the Hudson Bay Co. trading posts established within the present borders of the United States, was built about 1/4 mile east of here.

85. Flathead Reservation

 Ravalli, Missoula Area
The Native Americans on this reservation belong to the Salish, Kalispel, Spokane, Kootenai and Pend d’Oreille tribes.

86. The Jocko Valley

 Arlee, Missoula Area
Named for Jacco (Jacques) Raphael Finlay, a fur trader and trapper in the Kootenai and Flathead Indian country, 1806-09.

87. Mullan Road

 Missoula, Missoula Area
During the years 1855-62 Captain John Mullan, 2nd Artillery, U.S.A., located and built what was known as the Mullan Road.

88. The Holocaust

 Saltese, Missoula Area
In 1910, this was a remote neck of the woods and hard to reach.

89. Savenac Nursery Historic District

 Haugan, Missoula Area
Creation of the National Forest Service in 1905 brought Elers Koch, one of the nation's first professional foresters, to inspect and evaluate the Forest Reserves of Montana and Wyoming.

90. The Iron Mountain Mine

 Superior, Missoula Area
The Iron Mountain Mine, one of the largest and most successful quartz mines in western Montana, was located about 12 miles north of here.

91. The Natural Pier Bridge

 Alberton, Missoula Area
This structure is an example of how engineers incorporated a natural feature into the design of a bridge.

92. The Big Blackfoot Railway

 Missoula, Missoula Area
The Blackfoot River has been a transportation corridor for hundreds of years, first serving Indian travelers, then later fur trappers, miners, and loggers.

93. Hell Gate & Missoula

 Missoula Area
In the Indian days, the mountain tribes had a road through here which led across the Continental Divide to the buffalo.

94. Junction of the Hell Gate & Big Blackfoot Rivers

 Bonner-West Riverside, Missoula Area
An important Indian road came east through the Hell Gate and turned up the Big Blackfoot.

95. The Oily Boid Gets the Woim

 Shelby, Great Falls Area
A narrow gauge railroad nicknamed the “turkey track” used to connect Great Falls, Montana, and Lethbridge, Alberta.

96. The Blackfeet Nation

 Browning, Great Falls Area
The Blackfeet Nation consists of three tribes, the Pikunis or Piegans, the Bloods and the Blackfoot.

97. Old Agency, 1880-1894

 Browning, Great Falls Area
The second Indian Agency on the Blackfeet Reservation was built at Old Agency in 1879.

98. Camp Disappointment

 Browning, Great Falls Area
The monument on the hill above was erected by the Great Northern Railway in 1925 to commemorate the farthest point north reached by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-06.

99. Lewis & Clark Portage Route

 Great Falls, Great Falls Area
To avoid the series of waterfalls along the Missouri River north of this point, the Expedition portaged their canoes and several tons of baggage, crossing the highway right here.

100. Black Eagle Falls

 Great Falls, Great Falls Area
The uppermost of the Great Falls of the Missouri bears west of this point.