Jim Bridger, Mountain Man

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Bridger 59014,Red Lodge Area

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Location: Bridger

Jim Bridger arrived in Montana in 1822 as a member of a Rocky Mountain Fur Co. brigade. For years he had no more permanent home than a poker chip. He roamed the entire Rocky Mountain region and often came through this part of the country. A keen observer, a natural geographer and with years of experience amongst the Indians, he became invaluable as a guide and scout for wagon trains and Federal troops following the opening of the Oregon Trail.

He shares honors with John Colter for first discoveries in the Yellowstone Park country. He was prone to elaborate a trifle for the benefit of pilgrims, and it was Jim who embroidered his story of the petrified forest by asserting that he had seen a peetrified bird sitting in a peetrified tree, singing a peetrified song

The Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone was named for Capt. Wm. Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Chief Joseph led his band of Nez Perce Indians down this river when he made his famous retreat in the summer of 1877.

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