Western Montana

Camp Baker | Bridger's Post | Camp Bridger Pass | Fort Connah | Fort Connen
Camp Cummings | Camp Disappointment | Fort Ellis | Fort Fizzle | Flathead Post (1)
Flathead Post (2) | Flathead Post (3) | Flour Camp | Camp Fortunate | Camp Green Clay Smith
Fort Green Clay Smith | Fort Grey Hill | Fort Harrison | Fort William Henry Harrison
Helena Barracks | Fort Henry (2) | Henry's Post | Fort Howie | Fort Howse (1)
Cantonment Jordan | Fort Kootenai | Kootenai Post (1) | Kootenai Post (2) | Kootenai Post (3)
Kootenai Post (4) | Kootenai Post (5) | Linklater's Post | Fort Logan | Fort Maginnis (1)
Fort Meagher (1) | Fort Meagher (2) | Fort Elizabeth Meagher | Fort Thomas Meagher
Fort Missoula | Missoula Post | Fort Mountain | Fort Owen | Fort Parker | Fort Piegan (3)
Saleesh House (1) | Saleesh House (2) | Camp Robert Smith | Cantonment Stevens
Camp (Ida) Thoroughman | Fort at the Three Forks | Three Forks Post | Vanderburgh's Post
Cantonment Wright

Northern Montana - page 1 | Southern Montana - page 2



Last Update: 12/AUGUST/2019
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - 2019 American Forts Network

Camp Disappointment
(1806), Meriwether
A campsite on Meriwether Lewis' return trip eastward (July 1806), located on Cut Bank Creek, 18 miles west of Cut Bank.

Fort Piegan (3)
(unknown dates), Glacier County
An obscure reference found for a post once located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. No other information found.

Fort Maginnis (1)
(Blackfeet Indian Reservation)
(1875 - 1879), near Cut Bank
A trading post operated by the T.C. Power and Brothers Company, originally located on Badger Creek, then relocated to Birch Creek.

Kootenai Post (1)
(1808), Rexford
A short-lived North West Co. trading post built by David Thompson, located on the east side of the Kootenai River at the mouth of the Tobacco River. There are various spellings of the river. In Canada it is today generally spelled as Kootenay, but there are several other variations found in historic sources.

Kootenai Post (5)
(1846 - 1860), Rexford
A Hudson's Bay Co. post also called Fort Kootenai, and also (John) Linklater's Post after 1852. Located either on the west side of the Kootenai River at the mouth of Young Creek, or on the east side at the mouth of the Tobacco River. After the 49th Parallel boundary was surveyed, the post moved north to Canada (near Roosville, BC) and was eventually replaced by Fort Steele, British Columbia.

Kootenai Post (3)
(1811 - 1812), Jennings
A North West Co. trading post, located on the north side of the Kootenai River opposite the town, just below the Fisher River near the Libby Dam.

Kootenai Post (2)
(1808 - 1809), Libby
A North West Co. trading post built by Finan McDonald, located on the north side of the Kootenai River opposite Libby Creek and the town.

Kootenai Post (4)
(1821 - 1824, 1829 - unknown), near Libby
A North West Co. (?) trading post located above the Kootenai Falls at the mouth of Rainey Creek. The Hudson's Bay Company apparently took over the post shortly after it was built. Abandoned, then replaced by a new HBC post in 1829 on the same site, built by William Kittson.

Flathead Post (1)
(1812 - 1813), Noxon
A Pacific Fur Co. trading post built by Alexander Ross on the north side of the Clark Fork River. It was transferred to the North West Co. in November 1813 before it closed.

Saleesh House (1)
(1809 - 1810, 1811 - 1813), Thompson Falls
A North West Co. trading post built by David Thompson, located on the north (or east) side of the Clark Fork River nearly opposite the mouth of Prospect (Ashley) Creek, just north of town. The post was not occupied during 1811 when, in the fall of that year, it was attacked by a group of Piegan Indians who found another group of Kootenay Indians encamped there. Nor'wester John McTavish had the post rebuilt and reopened in December 1811.

Flathead Post (2)
(1823 - 1847), Eddy
A Hudson's Bay Co. trading post built by Alexander Ross, located east of Thompson Falls on the north side of the Clark Fork River. Also called Saleesh House (2) interchangeably.

Cantonment Jordan
(1859 - 1860), De Borgia
A winter camp for troops and laborers on the construction of Mullen Road, which connected Fort Benton (2) with Fort Walla Walla, WA. Site located two miles east of town.

Fort (Joseph) Howse (1)
(1810 - 1811), near Polson ?, or Kalispell ?
A Hudson's Bay Co. wintering post located somewhere in the Flathead River valley, either north or south of Flathead Lake. Exact location undetermined. A possible alternate site is located on the Clark Fork River near Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho (see also), which also may have been once called Flathead Lake.

Fort Connah
(1846 - 1872), near St. Ignatius
A trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company, the last to operate on American soil, built by Neil McArthur. Located on Post Creek six miles north of town, about two miles southeast of the Ninepipe Reservoir. Angus McDonald took over in 1847, and renamed the post Fort Connen, but because of his heavy Scottish accent, the name evolved into "Connah" among the local Indians and settlers. Originally known as Flathead Post (3), it sometimes continued to be known as that, especially in HBC legal documents. The old frame storehouse still exists, as well as two other log buildings that were relocated here from other sites. The site is currently under restoration by the Fort Connah Restoration Society. See also Crown of the Continent

Cantonment Wright
(1861 - 1862), Milltown
A winter encampment for troops and laborers on the construction of Mullen Road, which connected Fort Benton (2) with Fort Walla Walla, WA. Marker located on the west side of town.

Fort Missoula
(Northern Rockies Heritage Center)
(Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History)
(Fort Missoula Regional Park)
(1876 - 1918, 1921 - 1947), Missoula
Originally called Post at Missoula until 1877. The fort, located at the mouth of Grant Creek, was originally built to protect settlers. It also served as a holding place for captured Nez Perce Indians. The post was not garrisoned from 1898 - 1901. The post was remodeled and updated between 1908 and 1914. The fort was closed in 1915, but was then used as an Army mechanic's school until 1918. The post was reactivated in 1921, and later used by the U.S. Immigration Service from 1941 - 1944 as an internment camp. The MT National Guard and the U.S. Forest Service now use most of the grounds, along with several other Federal and state agencies. The rest of the former post is managed by the Northern Rockies Heritage Center. The grounds include thirteen historic buildings from the rebuilt fort, three buildings from the original fort, a small military cemetery, and a parade ground. The rebuilt buildings include the Headquarters, the Post Exchange, a Quartermaster Storehouse, the Hospital, two Barracks, and seven Officer's Quarters, all now repurposed. The Quartermaster Storehouse building now contains the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. The old post fort buildings include a Carriage House (1880), a stone powder magazine (1878) and restored NCO quarters (1878). The Headquarters Building is now home to Vital Ground.
(some info courtesy of Tate Jones, Executive Director, R.M.M.M.H.)

Fort Fizzle
(Lolo National Forest)
(1877), Lolo
A 200-foot long log and earth breastwork built to block the path of the Nez Perce through Lolo Pass on the state line. The Indians simply went around the stockade and the Army's efforts "fizzled out" (July 1877). Site with recreated log breastworks is located five miles west of town, within the Lolo National Forest at the Fort Fizzle Historic Site Picnic Area.

Cantonment Stevens
(1853), Stevensville
An Army post used by the survey crews of the future Mullen Road, which would connect Fort Benton (2) with Fort Walla Walla, WA. The post consisted of four log cabins, a corral, and a tent camp. Road construction began in 1855.

Fort (John) Owen (State Park)
(1850 - 1871), Stevensville
A 250-by-125-foot stockaded adobe/log trading post, grist mill, and farm complex built at the site of the Jesuit St. Mary's Mission (1841 - 1884), one mile north of town. One original building on site, the East Barracks, has been restored. Other buildings are reconstructions, or relocations.

Helena Barracks
(1877 - 1878), Helena
A Federal post. Site located at the Helena Fairgrounds three miles outside the city.

Fort William Henry Harrison (State Military Reservation)
(Fort Harrison V.A. Medical Center)
(1895 - 1913/present), Helena
Originally called Fort (Benjamin) Harrison until renamed in 1906 to avoid confusion with the fort of the same name in Indiana. Although officially authorized and named in 1892, the post was not actually built until 1895. Used by the MT National Guard after the Regular Army left in 1913. The main garrison post area later became a Veterans Administration Hospital. Several quarters still remain along Officers' Row, now used by the V.A. Hospital. The MT National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and the Naval Reserve continue to use a portion of the old post. Located here is the new Montana Military Museum. Two WWII-era airstrips are used for helicopter operations.

Camp Robert B. Smith
(1898), Helena
A Spanish-American War muster and assembly camp for state troops. Original site was near the Broadwater Hotel about three miles west of town on Mullen Road, but it became too muddy and was moved closer to town to just east of Central Park.

Camp Fortunate
(Lewis and Clark State Memorial)
(1805), near Grant
A campsite where the Lewis and Clark Expedition stayed and reunited Sacagawea with her people (August 1805). The Shoshone village was located in the Lemhi Pass area between here and Tendoy, Idaho. The campsite is now under the Clark Canyon Reservoir.

Camp Cummings
(1867), Virginia City
A militia camp built to protect the miners in town.

Three Forks Post
(1810, 1832), Three Forks
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. 300-foot square double stockaded trading post built by John Colter, Andrew Henry, and Pierre Menard, located on the south side of the Jefferson River about two miles upstream from its confluence with the Madison River. Also called Fort at the Three Forks, Fort Henry (2), and/or Andrew Henry's Post. Abandoned after only two months (March - May 1810) due to Blackfeet Indian hostilities. Eight of the trappers were killed, including George Drouillard who, with John Colter, had previousy journeyed with Lewis and Clark through this region only a few years before.

Attempts were later made in 1832 by the American Fur Co. (Henry Vanderburgh's Post) and the rival Rocky Mountain Fur Co. (Jim Bridger's Post) to establish new trading posts in this vicinity, but they also failed.

Fort Ellis
(1867 - 1886), near Bozeman
A Federal post built to protect the Bozeman Trail, settlers and miners. Very few remains are left at the actual site, located three miles east of town on the East Gallatin River. Became the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station in the early 1900's, then in 1930 it was renamed the Fort Ellis Research Farm of Montana State University. The Commanding Officer's Quarters still remains, in use by the university research staff. A stone D.A.R. monument (1928) is located just north, in a nearby field by the interstate highway.

Fort Elizabeth Meagher
(1867), near Bozeman
A short-lived post of volunteer militia located eight miles east of town on Rock Creek, built in anticipation of a Crow Indian attack. Also simply called Fort Meagher (1).

Camp Bridger Pass
(1867), near Bozeman
A militia camp and breastworks located at Bridger Pass to protect the Gallatin Valley from Indian attack.

Camp (Ida) Thoroughman
(1867), Livingston
A militia camp located four miles northeast of town.

Fort Parker
(1869 - 1875), near Livingston
A 200-foot square log stockade with two blockhouses. Burned and then rebuilt with adobe in 1872, along with 25 new adobe houses outside the fort for the Indians. Served also as the Crow Indian Agency until 1875. Located four miles east of town, one mile south of the Yellowstone River. The Agency was relocated in 1875 to the Stillwater Valley, near the convergence of the East and West Rosebud Rivers. No remains, site is marked.

Fort Howie
(1867), near Livingston
A temporary stockade built by the local militia. Located on the Yellowstone River at the mouth of Shield's River about seven miles east of town.

Fort Thomas F. Meagher
(1867), Springdale
A temporary militia post located on the Yellowstone River in McAdows Canyon. Also called Fort Meagher (2).

Camp Green Clay Smith
(1867 - 1868), near Springdale
A temporary Army post four miles northeast of Fort Thomas Meagher. Also called Fort Green Clay Smith.

Fort Logan
(1869 - 1880), near White Sulphur Springs
Originally located 10 miles northwest in the Smith River Valley to protect the miners at Diamond City. It was originally named Camp Baker. It was moved southeast to its present location, 17 miles northwest of town on the west bank of the river, in 1870, and renamed in 1878. Traces of the fort can be seen today. Some original buildings have been moved and repurposed by the present land owners. An adobe storehouse is in ruins. Two timber-frame Oficers' Quarters still remain. The original log blockhouse also still remains, restored in 1924 by the D.A.R., and moved in 1962 to the center of the old parade ground. Private property.

Fort Grey Hill
(unknown dates), Meagher County
A trading post located somewhere in present-day Meagher County.
(info courtesy of Jerome Grenz)

NEED MORE INFO: Warm Springs Creek near Conner called "Flour Camp Creek" on the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1805). A possible military post or camp located northeast of Lincoln (date and location ?).
Towns: Garrison in Powell County.

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

Northern Montana - page 1 | Southern Montana - page 2

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