Steamboats, Bull Whackers, and Fish Trains

Steamboats, Bull Whackers, and Fish Trains (HM2218)

Location: Belt, MT 59412 Cascade County
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Country: United States of America
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N 47° 12.666', W 110° 55.866'

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The discovery of silver in 1879 in Galena Creek southwest of here created a real transportation challenge for the miners of the early 1880's - how to bring in mining supplies and how to haul their precious ore out to distant railroads and markets.

Transportation in the Little Belts

At first, the "truck drivers" of the 1880's, known as freighters or "bull whackers" used large teams of oxen, mules or horses to haul supplies from nearby Ft. Benton, the uppermost reach of steamboats on the Missouri River. This was slow and the roads of sticky gumbo clay were terrible when wet.

In 1890 the Montana Central Railroad was extended from Great Falls to Monarch, and a year later to Neihart to transport ore. A new silver smelter in Great Falls began receiving ore shipments from these mountains in 1897.

During its 55 years of existence the train and track carried not just supplies and ordinary passengers, but also campers, fishermen, fish, and partygoers.
HM NumberHM2218
Placed ByLewis and Clark National Forest
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 6th, 2017 at 4:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 505217 N 5228625
Decimal Degrees47.21110000, -110.93110000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 47° 12.666', W 110° 55.866'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds47° 12' 39.96" N, 110° 55' 51.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)406
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6255-6267 US-89, Belt MT 59412, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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