The Powder River Country - Historical Marker


Broadus 59317,Southeast Montana

Map Location

Things to SeeHistorical Markers/Interpretive Sign
General info

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.” During World War I, Montana’s 91st Division gained national notoriety for the river with its war cry of ‘Powder River let ’er buck!’ The origin of the river’s name, however, is obscure.

In July, 1806, Captain William Clark christened it the “Red Stone” river. Later renamed the Powder River, historians supposed it took its name from the dark gunpowder-colored soil and sand along its banks. But army scout William Drannan maintained that the river was inadvertently named by Vierres Roubidoux, a French guide, who shouted “Cache la Powder!” (Hide the Powder!) when a group of soldiers he was escorting was attacked by Indians.

Located in the center of Powder River County, Broadus was once situated 20 miles upstream on the Powder River in 1900. Named for a pioneer family, Broadus was relocated to this site at the beginning of the Homestead Boom in 1907. The community’s strategic location at the junction of two important highways made Broadus an important trade center despite its

About Us

Our mission is to provide the most comprehensive information site for the state of Montana. We welcome public input and comments.


1627 W. Main #447
Bozeman, MT 59715

Contact Us

Created with love by New Times Media Corporation

We're New Times Media - a friendly and fun group of people. At New Times Media we love to share anything and everything we know about the great state of Montana, so we created this site to make learning about our state as easy as possible. Our site is free to use and has the simplest possible user interface.

Privacy policy:

We use Google Analytics for site usage analytics. Your IP address is saved on our web server, but it's not associated with any personally identifiable information. We want you to enjoy and benefit from our site without worrying about who is tracking you (OK, so Google might track you, but that’s not us!)

Terms of service: the legal stuff

By using our site you agree to our Terms of service. TLDR: You don't need an account to use our site. Our site is free of charge and you can use it as much as you want. You need an account if you wish to list your business or control your business information. You can't do illegal or shady things with a business listing on our site. We may block your access to your page(s), if we find out you're doing something bad. Share anything you see, but don’t use our stuff for your own use without permission from us. We’re not liable for your actions and we offer no warranty. We may revise our terms at any time.