Fort Benton

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Prairie Lights: Author sifts gems from Montana history

In 1881, Martha Edgerton Rolfe Plassmann, the daughter of Montana’s first territorial governor, made her way down the Missouri River from Fort Benton aboard the steamboat Far West. In a detailed account of the journey, she wrote of the alarm she and other passengers felt when they learned that the Far West was to stop at Fort Buford, near present-day Williston, to pick up Sitting Bull and his band of Sioux Indians and transport them to Standing Rock Agency, south of Bismarck. (more…) Continue Reading →

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The ups and downs of high school football alignments


High-school football season, like smoke from a not-so-distant wildfire, once again has descended upon Montana. Observing the realignments and reclassifications of Montana High School Association members provides a learning moment for students of the sociology, economics and history of this ever-changing state. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Painter chosen to celebrate Missouri River Breaks area


When you think of an “artist-in-residence,” you probably picture an artist spending a certain amount of time at a museum, school or some other institution. For Livingston watercolorist Paul Tunkis, an upcoming artist-in-residence program will mean spending a little more than two weeks in a canoe on the Missouri River. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Camels in Montana? That and more at Mullan Road meet


For a brief period in the 1860s, camels imported from North Africa were used as pack animals in the gold camps of western Montana. The camels proved useful, according to Ellen Baumler, an author and interpretive historian at the Montana Historical Society, but they fell out of favor for one simple reason. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Novella paints vivid portrait of Montana Territory

Tom Keith has never lived in Montana, but he has written a fine novella about the adventures of a man seeking a new life in Montana Territory in 1882. The self-published book, “When Everything Changed,” is very loosely based on the life of Keith’s great-grandfather, Mell Keith—named Daniel McHarg in the book—who arrived in Fort Benton aboard the steamboat Red Cloud in 1881. (more…) Continue Reading →

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‘Outrageous characters’ crowd Montana history book


Less than a year after the publication of his “Montana Territory and the Civil War,” Great Falls historian Ken Robison is back with a another, related book, “Confederates in Montana Territory.”

He said the book was his idea, not his publisher’s, and there were two reasons he wanted to write it. The first was to examine with some rigor the often-repeated notion that Montana was largely settled by Confederates from Missouri who came here after a series of defeats by Union forces. (more…) Continue Reading →

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