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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. 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. More Info

2. Cattle Brands - Historical Marker

Historical highway marker depicting various cattle brands. More Info

3. Bannack State Park Campground

 Bannack, Butte Area
Bannack was the site of the state’s first big gold strike in 1862 and the birthplace of Montana’s government. Gold was discovered in Grasshopper Creek on July 28, 1862. This strike set off a massive gold rush that swelled Bannack. More Info

4. 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. More Info

5. 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. More Info

6. 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. More Info

7. 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. More Info

8. Atlantic Cable Quartz Lode Historic Marker

 Anaconda, Butte Area
Location: West of Anaconda This mining property was located June 15, 1867, the name commemorating the laying of the second transatlantic cable. More Info

9. 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. More Info

10. 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. More Info

11. 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. More Info

12. Badrock Canyon

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

13. Boulder Hot Springs Historical Marker

 Boulder, Helena Area
For centuries Native Americans have been coming to these pure, flowing hot water springs for rest and healing. More Info

14. Anaconda Historical Marker

 Anaconda, Butte Area
Location: East edge of Anaconda Selected by Marcus Daly as a smelter site in 1883 because of an abundant supply of good water, Anaconda was the home of the Washoe Smelter of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company until 1980. More Info

15. Columbus

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

16. 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. More Info

17. 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. More Info

18. Belt Jail

 Belt, Great Falls Area
Lewis and Clark or early trappers named nearby Belt Butte for its girdle or rocks. More Info

19. A Montana Crossroads Historical Marker

 Loma, Havre Area
The Missouri River once flowed northeasterly through this valley to Hudson Bay. More Info

20. Captain Meriwether Lewis

 Dupuyer, Great Falls Area
Captain Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, accompanied by three of his men, explored this portion of the country upon their return trip from the coast. More Info

21. 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. More Info

22. Blackfeet and Buffalo

 Choteau, Great Falls Area
In the days of the fur traders and trappers immediately following the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-06) all of this country bordering the Rocky Mountains was buffalo range and the hunting grounds. More Info

23. Black Eagle Falls

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

24. 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. More Info

25. 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. More Info

26. 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. More Info

27. Big Hole Battlefield National Monument

 Wisdom, Southwest Montana
Big Hole National Battlefield is a memorial to the people who fought and died here on August 9 and 10, 1877; combatants in a five-month conflict that came to be called the Nez Perce War of 1877. More Info

28. Bear Mouth Historical Marker

 Drummond, Southwest Montana
Location: West of Drummond Bear Mouth, across the river to the south, was a trading point for the placer camps at Beartown, Garnet, and Coloma located in the hills north of here. More Info

29. 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. More Info

30. 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. More Info

31. 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. More Info

32. 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. More Info

33. Butte Historical Marker

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

34. 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. More Info

35. 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. More Info

36. 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. More Info

37. Continental Divide Elevation 6325 Historical Marker

 Helena, Helena Area
MacDonald Pass joins two other Continental Divide crossings as vital links between east and west in Montana. More Info

38. Fort Maginnis Historical Marker

 Lewistown, Central Montana
Fort Maginnis, the last army post created in Montana, was built about 8 miles north of here in 1880. More Info

39. 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. More Info

40. 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. More Info

41. Jefferson Valley

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

42. 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. More Info

43. Hurry Honyocker Hurry! Historical Marker

 Havre, Havre Area
Honyocker, scissorbill, nester … He was the Joad of a quarter-century ago, swarming into hostile land; duped when he started, robbed when he arrived. More Info

44. 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. More Info

45. 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. More Info

46. 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. More Info

47. 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. More Info

48. 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. More Info

49. 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. More Info

50. Fort Peck Indian Reservation Historical Marker

 Poplar, Northeast Montana
Fort Peck Indian Reservation is the home of two tribes, whose forefathers were living in this vicinity when Lewis and Clark came up the Missouri. More Info

51. Fort Chardon Historical Marker

 Big Sandy, Havre Area
Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark passed through this area (1805) on their expedition to the Pacific Ocean, and the landscape here remains much as they described it. More Info

52. Garryowen

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

53. 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. More Info

54. Junction

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

55. First Discovery of Gold in Montana Historical Marker

 Gold Creek, Southwest Montana
Location: East of Gold Creek Opposite this point, a creek flows into the Clark Fork River from the west. In 1852, a French halfbreed, Francois Finlay, commonly known as “Benetsee,” prospected the creek for placer gold. More Info

56. 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. More Info

57. Traveler's Rest Historic Marker

 Lolo, Southwest Montana
Location: South of Lolo The Lewis and Clark Expedition, westward bound, camped at the mouth of Lolo Creek September 9th, 10th, 1805. More Info

58. 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. More Info

59. 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. More Info

60. Lennep Mercantile Historical Marker

 Lennep, Central Montana
Built in 1914 by M. T. Grande, this building housed a grocery store with a small supply of dry goods. More Info

61. 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 More Info

62. Cow Country Historical Marker

 Roundup, Central Montana
In the 1880s, days of the open range, many a roundup outfit worked this country. More Info

63. 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. More Info

64. Fort Fizzle Historic Site and Picnic Area

 Lolo, Southwest Montana
To block the Nez Perce from entering Montana, Captain Rawn, 7th Infantry, with thirty enlisted men and four officers from nearby Fort Missoula, entrenched themselves behind log breastworks in a small opening along the Lolo Creek drainage. More Info

65. 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. More Info

66. 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. More Info

67. 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. More Info

68. Medicine Tree Historical Marker

 Darby, Southwest Montana
This Ponderosa Pine has been standing guard here on the bend of the river for nearly 400 years. More Info

69. Claggett Hill Trail Historical Marker

 Winifred, Havre Area
In 1866, the U.S. Army established Camp Cooke on the west bank of the Judith River near here to protect local settlers from Indian raids. More Info

70. 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. More Info

71. Liquid Gold Historical Marker

 Vandalia, Northeast Montana
Water is the lifeblood of Montana. During the state’s early settlement, the rivers provided transportation and trading routes; later they sustained the livestock and crops of ranchers and homesteaders More Info

72. Flathead Reservation

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

73. First Methodist Episcopal Church of Chester

 Chester, Havre Area
The first two decades of the twentieth century saw railroad promotion and homestead settling along Montana’s Hi-Line. Chester was one of the first communities to spring up along the new Great Northern Railway Line in the 1890s. More Info

74. Dinosaurs Historical Marker

 Jordan, Northeast Montana
Difficult to believe now, but 80 million years ago the middle of our continent was a shallow sea. More Info

75. 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. More Info

76. Ingomar Public School Historical Marker

 Ingomar, Central Montana
As hundreds of farmers and ranchers homesteaded the arid, treeless plains of northwestern Rosebud County, the townsite of Ingomar was platted along the tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway in 1912. More Info

77. 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... More Info

78. 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. More Info

79. 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. More Info

80. 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. More Info

81. 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. More Info

82. In Memoriam Historical Marker

 Frazer, Northeast Montana
In the summer of 1837, an American Fur Trading Company steamboat laden with trade goods made its way from St. Louis to Fort Union. More Info

83. 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. More Info

84. J.A. Bookman General Store Historical Marker

 Ingomar, Central Montana
J. Abraham “Abe” Bookman came from Ireland with his wife, Anna, and brother-in-law, Simon Sigman. More Info

85. Greening Bank Historical Marker

 Ingomar, Central Montana
Completion of the ‘’Milwaukee Road” brought hundreds of homesteaders to Ingomar during the 1910s. By 1914, wood-frame homes and a small commercial district proclaimed the town a permanent settlement. More Info

86. Fort Union Historical Marker

 Bainville, Northeast Montana
Fort Union, one of the largest and best-known trading posts of the fur days, was located on the Missouri near the mouth of the Yellowstone, about 14 miles southeast of here. More Info

87. Sun River

 Augusta, Great Falls Area
The Sun River was called the Medicine River by the Indians in the days of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (18O4-06). More Info

88. Nez Perce Sikum Historical Marker

 Lolo, Southwest Montana
Location: Highway 12 West of Lolo Sikum is the Nez Perce word for horse. The Nez Perce people were introduced to the horse in the 1730s. The word “appaloosa” was created by white settlers. More Info

89. 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. More Info

90. The Vision Quest Historical Marker

 Harlem, Havre Area
High points such as mountain tops and tabletop buttes are considered powerful and sacred areas by many Indian peoples. More Info

91. 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. More Info

92. Lewistown Historical Marker

 Lewistown, Central Montana
This area, the final hunting ground for Montana Indians, was the site of battles fought over the buffalo. More Info

93. Marias River Historical Marker

 Loma, Havre Area
The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped at the mouth of this river just east of here June 3, 1805. More Info

94. 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. More Info

95. 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. More Info

96. Ingomar Historical Marker

 Ingomar, Central Montana
Upon completion of the Milwaukee Railroad in 1910, Ingomar became a hub of commerce in the area bounded by the Missouri, Musselshell and Yellowstone Rivers. More Info

97. E57B The Last Electric Locomotive Historical Marker

 Harlowton, Central Montana
The Milwaukee Road’s 656-mile electrified railroad ended at 11:40 P.M. June 15, 1974, when Engineer Art Morang stopped the E57B & E34C on the Harlowton Roundhouse Track. They were the last operating locomotives of the original 84 locomotives. More Info

98. Last Chance Gulch Historic Site

 Helena, Helena Area
The city of Helena started as a group of placer miners’ cabins and Main Street follows the bottom of Last Chance Gulch. More Info

99. Fort Benton

 Fort Benton, Havre Area
Capt. Clark with members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped on the site of Fort Benton June 4, 1805. More Info

100. Dupuyer

 Dupuyer, Great Falls Area
Dupuyer, a colorful frontier cattle town, and 1880s stop on the Fort Shaw-Fort Macleod Trail, is the oldest town between Fort Benton and the Rocky Mountains. More Info