American Forts: West


Fort Andrew | Fort Andrews | Fort Assiniboine (2) | Fort Belknap | Fort Benton (2)
Camp Big Spring Creek | Fort of the Blackfeet | Fort Browning | Fort Brule | Fort Campbell
Canoe Camp | Fort Carroll | Carroll Landing Post | Fort Chardon | Fort Charles | Fort Clagett
Clark's Post | Fort Clay | Fort Conrad | Camp Cooke | Fort Cooke | Fort Copelin | Fort Cotton
Fort Cotton Bottoms | Fort Dauphin | Fort Fourchette | Fort Galpin | Fort Hawley
Fort Henry (1) | Fort Henry (4) | Fort Honoré | Fort Jackson | Janneau's Post (1)
Janneau's Post (2) | Judith Landing Post | Fort Kaiser | Kerchival City Post | Fort Kipp
J. Kipp's Post | Fort La Barge | Camp Lewis | Fort Lewis (1) | Fort Lewis (2) | Fort Lewis (3)
Camp Loder | Lower Portage Camp | Fort McKenzie | Fort Maginnis (2) | Fort Manuel
Camp Morris | Fort Musselshell | Ophir Post | Fort Peck | Fort Piegan (1) | Fort Piegan (2)
Camp Poplar River | Poplar River Post | Reed's Fort | Camp Reeve | Camp Reynolds
Rivet's Post | Cantonment Rocky Point | Rocky Point Post | Roulette's Post | Fort Shaw
Fort Sheridan | Fort Sherman | Fort Standoff | Fort Stewart (1) | Fort Stewart (2)
Fort Turnay (1) | Fort Turnay (2) | Fort Union

Southern Montana - page 2 | Western Montana - page 3



Last Update: 21/FEBRUARY/2009
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2009 American Forts Network

Fort Henry (1)
(1810 - 1812 ?), Bainville
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. trading post built by Andrew Henry.

Fort Stewart (1)
(1854 - 1860), near Culbertson
A Frost, Todd and Co. trading post. Abandoned and burned by Indians. Located on the Missouri River at Big Muddy Creek (within the present Fort Peck Indian Reservation) west of town.

Fort Kipp
(1859 - 1860), near Culbertson
An American Fur Company trading post only 600 feet away from Fort Stewart (1). Named for James Kipp. Abandoned and burned by Indians.

Fort Stewart (2)
(1861 - 1862), near Culbertson
A trading post built by Charles Larpenteur occupying the same site as Fort Stewart (1). Sold in 1862 to La Barge, Harkness and Co..

Roulette's Post
(1862), near Culbertson
An American Fur Co. trading post at or near the site of Fort Kipp. It was attacked and burned by Indians.

Fort Jackson
(1833 - 1834), Poplar
An American Fur Co. 50-foot square palisaded winter camp.

Poplar River Post
(1860 - 1861), Poplar
A winter post built by Charles Larpenteur.

Malcolm Clark's Post
(1860 - 1861), Poplar
An American Fur Co. winter post in direct competition with Poplar River Post.

Camp Poplar River
(1880 - 1893), Poplar
An Army cantonment.

Fort Charles
(1863 - unknown), Wolf Point
An American Fur Co. post.

Fort Union
(1829 - 1830's ?), Frazer
Often confused with Fort Union in North Dakota. Built by Kenneth McKenzie of the American Fur Company. The steamboat Yellowstone arrived here in 1832. The post was still in operation in 1833, and probably later.

Fort (Louis) Dauphin
(1860 - 1865 ?), near Nashua
An independent trader's post located near the mouth of the Milk River. Dauphin was killed by Sioux Indians in 1865.

Fort Copelin
(1865 - unknown), near Nashua
A trading post and supply depot on the Milk River for the Montana and Idaho Transportation Line (steamboats), operated by John Copelin and John Roe.

Louis Rivet's Post
(1867), near Nashua
An independent trading post on the "Big Bend" of the Milk River.

Another trading post, Fort Hawley (1866), also built by Louis Rivet for the Hubble and Hawley Co., may have been located nearby.

Fort Galpin
(1862 - 1863), near Fort Peck
A La Barge, Harkness and Co. fur trade post built by Charles Larpenteur on the north bank of the Missouri River, 12 miles above the Milk River.

Fort Peck
(1867 - 1879), Fort Peck
Located one mile above the present-day dam, it was the fortified trading post of the Durfee and Peck Co., and between 1871 and 1879 served double duty as the Milk River Indian Agency. It was a 300-foot square log palisade with five bastions (blockhouses) and enclosing various log structures. The site of the fort is now underwater due to erosion of the bluff and the construction of the Fort Peck Dam (1933-40).

Fort Kaiser
(1865 - unknown), near Fort Peck
A trading post located somewhere near the town of Fort Peck.
(info courtesy of Jerome Grenz)

Fort Fourchette
(unknown dates), near Regina
A trading post located on Fourchette Creek.
(info courtesy of Jerome Grenz)

Fort Sheridan
(1870 - 1874), near Valentine
Kerchival City Post (1866 - 1868) was first established on the Missouri River at the Musselshell River (Crooked Creek), but was abandoned. Fort Musselshell (1868 - 1870) was then built by the Montana Hide and Fur Co. on the south bank of the Missouri River. The Army arrived and built the stockaded Camp Reeve (1868) until the new town was well established. The town was attacked by Sioux in 1869. The Montana Hide and Fur Co. abandoned the town in 1870. The stockaded Fort Sheridan trade post was built after the abandonment of Fort Musselshell. Replaced by Fort Carroll.

Camp Loder
(1879), near Valentine
An Army post located near Fort Sheridan on the Musselshell River at Lodge Pole Creek.

Fort Andrew
(1862 - 1863), near Valentine
An American Fur Co. 125-foot square log palisaded trading post located on the north bank of the Missouri River about 15 miles upstream from the Musselshell River. Site possibly flooded by the Fort Peck Reservoir.

Fort Andrews
(1882 - unknown), unknown location
A trading post located somewhere on the north bank of the Missouri River.
(info courtesy of Jerome Grenz)

Fort Carroll
(1874 - 1882), near Valentine
Located on the Missouri River 25 miles upstream from the Musselshell River. A trading post and steamboat landing also called Carroll Landing Post, built by the Diamond 'R' Transportation Co. Replaced Fort Sheridan. An Army garrison was here in 1874 - 1875. The town of Carroll was later abandoned.

Cantonment Rocky Point
(1881), near Valentine
A temporary Army camp and government landing on the Missouri River during the building of Fort Maginnis (2). Rocky Point Post, a trading post of the C.A. Broadwater and Co., was also here during that time. Located 11 miles upstream from Fort Carroll.

Also here at Rocky Point was Joseph Kipp's Trade Post (1881 - 1882).

Fort Maginnis (2) (State Monument)
(1880 - 1890), near Maiden
A Federal fort built on Ford's Creek to protect settlers and cattlemen. It was abandoned, and later dismantled by the citizens of Lewistown where some of the houses were rebuilt. Four miles away is the ghost town Giltedge. Some ground depressions still remain, as well as the remains of the old Post Cemetery. See also The Building of Fort Maginnis on

Fort Sherman
(1873 - 1874), Lewistown
A private trading post of the Story and Hoffman Co. that was sold and replaced by Reed's Fort.

"Major" Alonzo Reed's Fort
(1874 - 1888), Lewistown
A private trading post (log cabin) that replaced Fort Sherman. Reed was not known to be a genuine Army major. Became the town's first post office in 1881, known as Reed's Fort. Reed sold out to Frank Day in 1882. The town was renamed in 1883. Located about 1.5 miles down Spring Creek from Fort Sherman. The cabin, later converted to a post office, still survives, located in a city park below the mouth of Casino Creek.

Francis Janneau's Post (2)
(1879 - 1882), Lewistown
A 100-by 150-foot stockaded trading post with two bastions (blockhouses), also known as Fort Turnay (2). Also spelled Janeaux.

Camp Lewis
(1874), Lewistown
A temporary Federal camp located two miles southeast of town. A sub-post of Fort Shaw originally called Camp Big Spring Creek. A small plaque is located on Main Street between 3rd and 4th Aves..

Fort Chardon
(1844 - 1845), near Everson
An American Fur Co. trading post at the mouth of the Judith River. Replaced Fort McKenzie and was then replaced by Fort Lewis (1). The abandoned post burned down in 1846.

Fort Clagett
(1870 - 1880's), near Everson
A trading post and depot built by the T.C. Power and Brothers Co., originally located on the south-side of the Missouri River above the Judith River, known as Fort Cooke until renamed in 1872. The post was moved to Judith Landing on the east-side of the mouth of the Judith River in 1878. Sold to Major Gilman Norris of the Merchantile and Cattle Company in 1883, and operated for several more years as the Judith Landing Post.

Camp Cooke
(1866 - 1870), near Everson
An Army post located west of the mouth of the Judith River.

Fort Turnay (1)
(1872 - 1879 ?), near Hinsdale
A Durfee and Peck Co. trading post located on Frenchman's Creek about 12 miles north of the Milk River. Provided winter shelter for 100 Canadian Metis families during one year. Used by the United States Northern Boundary Survey team on another occasion. Also known as Francis Janneau's Post (1).
(thanks to Jim Antoine for providing info)

Fort Browning
(1868 - 1872), near Dodson
A trading post located two miles southwest of town.

Fort Belknap
(1871 - 1886), Chinook
A Durfee and Peck Co. trading post on the south bank of the Milk River. The Fort Belknap Indian Agency, located 30 miles east, adopted the name later in 1888.

Fort Assiniboine (2) (Historical Site)
(Montana State University - Northern Agricultural Research Center)
(1879 - 1911), near Havre
At one time this was the largest Army post (in acreage) west of the Mississippi River. It consisted largely of brick-built buildings. Located on Beaver Creek four miles above the Milk River, six miles southwest of town, it was built to prevent Sitting Bull and his followers from returning from Canada. It became a state Agricultural Experiment Station in 1913 and most of the original buildings were then torn down. A guardhouse and Officers' quarters remain. Tours in season by appointment only. Artifacts are on display at the H. Earl Clack Museum in town. See also Visit || The Montana Fort Assiniboine by Doug Minor

Fort Piegan (1)
(1831 - 1832), Loma
An American Fur Co. wintering post built by James Kipp on the Missouri River just above the mouth of the Marias River, at a former campsite of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805. Consisted of three log cabins within a stockade. Burned by Indians in the spring.

Fort McKenzie
(1832 or 1833 - 1844), near Loma
An American Fur Co. stockaded trading post, also called Fort Piegan (2), located on the Missouri River about six miles above the mouth of the Marias River. It was a 1,420 square-foot quadrangular fort with two blockhouses and several cannon. Burned by the company as it was being abandoned. The site was later referred to as Fort Brule ("burned fort"). Replaced by Fort Chardon.

Ophir Post
(1864 - 1865), near Loma
Located on the south bank of the Marias River near the Missouri River. A short-lived "trading post" created as an emergency measure when the steamboat Cutter failed during the winter. Abandoned after being attacked by Blood Indians.

Fort Benton (2)
(1847 - 1881), Fort Benton
Located at River Front Park, the original northeast blockhouse and an adobe barracks wall still remain. The rest of the post is a modern reconstruction begun in the 1990's. This was the last navigable steamboat port on the Missouri River. Originally built on the opposite bank of the river, it was an American Fur Co. trading post known as Fort Lewis (3) or Fort Clay. It was rebuilt on its present site and renamed in 1850. This was the state's first permanent white settlement. The post was sold in 1866 to the I.G. Baker Company. The Army took control of the fort in 1869 after whiskey traders caused trouble here and in Canada. (see also Fort Conrad below, and Fort Whoop-Up, Alberta)

Fort Campbell
(1845 - 1860), Fort Benton
A Harvey, Primeau and Co. log stockade trading post on the south bank of the Missouri River. Moved in 1847 across the river one mile west (upstream) of Fort Benton (2) and rebuilt with adobe, the first such post in the state. Sold to the American Fur Company in 1857 and later abandoned. Became a Jesuit mission for the Flathead Indians after 1860. Site marked at River and 12th Streets.

Fort La Barge
(1862 - 1863), Fort Benton
Located 1.5 miles upriver from Fort Benton (2), built by the La Barge, Harkness and Co. outfit. Sold to the American Fur Company and dismantled. Site marked at River and 10th Streets.

Fort Lewis (2)
(1846 - 1847), near Fort Benton
Originally located here on the south bank of the Missouri River, east of Shonkin Creek, three miles upriver from Fort Benton (2), was Fort Cotton, or Fort Cotton Bottoms (1842 - 1843), built by the Union Fur Company. It was abandoned and burned. In 1846 the American Fur Company built a new post here, which was also known as Fort Henry (4), Fort Honoré (Picotte), and Fort of the Blackfeet, to replace Fort Chardon. It was moved three miles downriver in 1847 (Fort Benton (2)).

Fort Lewis (1)
(1845 - 1846), near Carter
A short-lived American Fur Co. trading post on the south bank of the Missouri River opposite Pablois Island, 18 miles upriver from Fort Benton (2). Dismantled and moved downriver to Fort Lewis (2).

Great Falls Camps
(1805, 1806), Great Falls
Two campsites of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on the Missouri River. Lower Portage Camp was located below the falls, and Canoe Camp was located above the falls. It took the Expedition eight days to bypass the falls with all their equipment and supplies. The sites were used again on the return trip eastward.

Fort Shaw
(1867 - 1891), Fort Shaw
Originally named Camp Reynolds. It was built to protect settlers in the Sun River Valley, and the road from Fort Benton (2) to Helena. After it was closed, the fort was used as an Indian School from 1892 until 1910. Some of the original buildings still exist; some private, some abandoned, and some used by the Fort Shaw Elementary School (since 1920). One of the former Officers' Quarters is now a museum, open only in the summer months.

Fort Conrad
(1875 - 1880's), near Shelby
An American Fur Co. stockaded trade post located on the Marias River south of town, built by Charles Conrad. Bought by Joseph Kipp in 1878 and sold again sometime after that to James McDevitt. The actual site has eroded away. This may have also been known as Fort Standoff, a whiskey traders' fort named after the incident where Joseph Kipp bluffed and eluded U.S. Marshalls from taking him into custody.

Camp Morris
(1883), Whitlash
A temporary Army post on the west side of Cottonwood Creek near the Sweet Grass Hills.

NEED MORE INFO: Square Butte near Ulm called "Fort Mountain"; Nickwall Creek near Poplar also called "Indian Fort Creek".

Thanks to Jerome Grenz for additional information on Montana forts and posts.

Southern Montana - page 2 | Western Montana - page 3

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