Mullan Road

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Mullan Road,Missoula 59867,Missoula Area

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Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric Sites
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General info

Location: West of Saltese

During the years 1855-62 Captain John Mullan, 2nd Artillery, U.S.A., located and built what was known as the Mullan Road. Congress authorized the construction of the road under the supervision of the War Department to connect Ft. Benton, the head of navigation on the Missouri, with Ft. Walla Walla, the head of navigation on the Columbia.

In the winter of 1859-60, Capt. Mullan established a winter camp at this point which he called Cantonment Jordan. The Captain had selected this route in preference to the Clark’s Fork route because he thought it would have a climatic advantage since it was farther south. However, he later expressed regret for making this choice because the investigation showed that the more northerly route was highly favored with chinook winds and the snowfall, in consequence, was much lighter. The Captain also predicted that both of these routes might eventually be used by transcontinental railroads. His prophecy was correct.

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