Winter of 1886

Winter of 1886 (HM165F)

Location: Deer Lodge, MT 59722 Powell County
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Country: United States of America
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N 46° 24.474', W 112° 44.226'

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Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

This area's climate includes dramatic fluctuations. As you imagine yourself ranching here, consider the effects of one winter during the heydays of the open ranch.

The snowy winter of 1886-87 devastated the cattle ranches of Montana. Cattle already lean from a dry summer faced a November and December of continuous snow. A midwinter thaw caused by a warm wind, or "Chinook," allowed the grass to surface for a few weeks. Then a deadly freeze locked the range in ice, leaving little for the cattle to eat. Thousands died.

Spring saw the range dotted with carcasses. Swollen bodies floated in the rivers. Half the Kohrs-Bielenberg cattle were lost, but Conrad Kohrs borrowed $100,000 from a banker in Butte and replenished his herds from sources in Idaho and Texas. He recovered his losses in three years. The young cowboy-artist Charlie Russell sketched this famous and tragic scene.

HM NumberHM165F
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 7:00am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 366485 N 5140835
Decimal Degrees46.40790000, -112.73710000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 46° 24.474', W 112° 44.226'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds46° 24' 28.44" N, 112° 44' 13.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)406
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-140 Warren Ln, Deer Lodge MT 59722, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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