Historical Markers in
Carbon County, Montana

105 North Broadway 612 North Hauser Avenue A Monument to Carbon County: The Fromberg Bridge A Trail Woefully Hard to Travel: The Bridger Cut-Off Alcazar (Star) Theater Alderson House B.P.O.E. Lodge #534 Bear Creek Cemetery Bearcreek Bearcreek Bank Belfry Black Gold Carbon County Courthouse Carbon County Hospital And Sanitarium Chapman House Charles Antilla Building Davis House at Brewery Hill Dr. Theodore J. Benson House Flager House Foiled Bank Robbery Site Fromberg Methodist-Episcopal Church Hasterlik House Hawkes & Son Photography Studio High Country Thoroughfare Iarussi Building Jim Bridger, Mountain Man Jim Bridger, Mountain Man John Gibson House Joliet Christian Church Kent Dairy Round Barn Labor Temple Liver-Eating Johnston's Cabin Marino and Blackburn Building McCleary House McDonald House McDowell House Methodist Episcopal Church and Parsonage Montana Bakery Neithammer Brothers Meat Market Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Nutting Rental O'Shea House Peters House Picket Block Pierson House Pippinger House Plenty Coups - Chief Of The Crows Plunkett's Hardware Pollard Hotel Red Lodge Red Lodge Brewing Company/ Red Lodge Canning Company Historic District Red Lodge Commercial District Red Lodge Communal Mausoleum Robbins House Robbins/Wiggenhorn House Rock Creek State Bank Roman Theatre Roysdon House Samuel and Jennie Greenblatt Residence Sichler-Davis House Smith Mine Historic District Talmage House Talmage/Crockett House The Beartooth Plateau The Bozeman Trail The Corey House The Iris Theater The Pryor Mountains The Pryor Mountains and Raptor Country The Red Lodge Country The Smith Mine Disaster W. A. Talmage Company Hardware W.R. Hall Building
Butte, Montana, was once one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the United States due to its rich deposits of copper, silver, and gold. It was known as "the richest hill on earth" and attracted miners from all over the world during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Carbon County, located in the southwestern part of Montana, has a rich and vibrant history that dates back centuries. The region was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Crow, Sioux, and Shoshone, who utilized the area's abundant resources for hunting, fishing, and gathering.

In the mid-1800s, fur traders and explorers ventured into the Carbon County area, establishing trading posts and forts. The arrival of settlers and the discovery of gold and silver in the nearby mountains brought a significant influx of prospectors and miners seeking their fortune. This led to the establishment of several mining camps and towns, such as Red Lodge, Bearcreek, and Fromberg, which played vital roles in the county's early development.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the mining industry thrived in Carbon County, attracting large numbers of immigrants from Europe and other parts of the United States. The towns grew rapidly, with the construction of railroads and the establishment of coal mines providing economic stability and employment opportunities for the burgeoning population.

However, the boom eventually faded, and the mining industry declined in the mid-20th century. Carbon County shifted its focus to agriculture, ranching, and tourism to sustain its economy. Today, the county is known for its picturesque landscapes, recreational opportunities, and a vibrant cultural scene, attracting visitors from around the world.

Overall, the history of Carbon County reflects the resilience and adaptability of its residents, who have continuously embraced change and altered their way of life to suit the evolving needs of the region.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Carbon County, Montana.

  • 1865 - Carbon County established as an original county of the Montana Territory.
  • 1877 - Coal mining begins in the area, leading to rapid population growth.
  • 1881 - Red Lodge becomes the county seat.
  • 1883 - Carbon County becomes a part of the newly formed state of Montana.
  • 1892 - Carbon County Sheriff Henry Plummer is hanged by vigilantes in Red Lodge.
  • 1898 - The town of Bearcreek is established as a coal mining town.
  • 1912 - The Montana State Board of Health declares Red Lodge a "Model Health City".
  • 1917 - The Smith Mine disaster in Bearcreek claims the lives of 74 miners.
  • 1961 - Carbon County Airport opens in Bridger, providing air transportation for the region.
  • 1974 - Carbon County becomes a destination for tourists seeking outdoor recreation.
  • 2008 - Stillwater Mining Company opens a new palladium and platinum mine near Nye.