Fort Owen Historical Marker


Stevensville 59870,Southwest Montana

Map Location

Historical Markers/Interpretive SignLewis and Clark Expedition
General info

Between 1831 and 1840 the Flathead Indians sent out three delegations, with St. Louis as their objective, to petition that “Black Robes” be sent to teach them. As a result Father De Smet, a Catholic missionary; estab- lished the original St. Mary’s Mission here in 1841. He and his assistants hewed logs and built a dwelling, car- penter and blacksmith shops, and a chapel. They drove in the first oxen with wagons, carts, and plows that year and in 1842 brought cows from Colville, Washington, and raised a crop of wheat and garden produce, probably the first in Montana. In 1843, assisted by Father Ravalli and others, he built the first grist mill. The stones were brought from Antwerp, Belgium, via the Columbia River. The Mission was sold to Major John Owen in 1850. On its site he built a trading post and fort, the north wall of which stands. The Major was a genial and convivial host when travelers came that way, and for many years Fort Owen was an important trading center for whites as well as Indians.

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.