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By Rick and Susie Graetz
Department of Geography, University of Montana 

Fort Benton: The Birthplace of Montana (Part 2)

 

September 27, 2019

Chris Groeling

The Missouri River flows through a bend near Fort Benton, Montana.

In September 1887, the railroad arrived at Fort Benton, signaling the end of the era of river trade, and it seemed the town would die. But a Canadian trade boom opened, resulting in the establishment of the 240-mile-long Whoop Up Trail pointing north to Fort Macleod, Alberta. Although plenty of legitimate commerce was carried out, the trail became known for the illegal whiskey transported on this dangerous and adventure-filled route.

Fort Benton is one of the most fascinating and prettiest towns in Montana to visit, especially when seen in the spring, summer and fall months. The cottonwood-...



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