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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.
Fergus County, Montana has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes. However, the first recorded European presence in the area came in the early 1800s, when fur traders and explorers such as the Lewis and Clark expedition began to explore the region.

In 1864, Fergus County was officially established and named after James Fergus, a Montana pioneer and politician. The area experienced rapid growth during the late 1800s, fueled by the discovery of gold in the nearby Judith Mountains. The resulting gold rush attracted thousands of prospectors and settlers to the area, leading to the creation of towns like Lewistown, the current county seat.

During this time, cattle ranching also became a prominent industry in Fergus County. Large ranches were established throughout the county, and cattle drives became a common sight on the open range. The town of Lewistown became a bustling hub for ranchers and served as a center for trade and commerce.

In the 20th century, Fergus County continued to develop and grow. The construction of railways in the early 1900s greatly improved transportation and opened up new opportunities for the county. Today, Fergus County remains an important agricultural center, with ranching and farming still playing a significant role in its economy. The county also attracts visitors with its scenic landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, and rich historical heritage.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Fergus County, Montana.

  • 1833 - The first known exploration of Fergus County by trapper and explorer François Antoine Larocque.
  • 1864 - Gold discovered in the area, leading to a significant influx of miners and settlers.
  • 1885 - Fergus County officially established as a county in the Montana Territory.
  • 1886 - The city of Lewistown is named county seat of Fergus County.
  • 1887 - The first courthouse in Fergus County is completed.
  • 1900 - The population of Fergus County reaches over 10,000.
  • 1913 - The Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, later renamed Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, a multi-purpose arena, is opened on the Montana State University campus.
  • 1914 - The Great Northern Railway reaches Lewistown, bringing increased economic opportunities for Fergus County.
  • 1929 - The stock market crash and the onset of the Great Depression impact the economy of Fergus County.
  • 1935 - The Civilian Conservation Corps establishes Camp Lewistown, providing employment and environmental conservation efforts during the Great Depression.
  • 1941-1945 - Fergus County residents serve in World War II, contributing to the war effort.
  • 1957 - The Lewistown Municipal Airport is constructed, improving access to and from Fergus County.
  • 1995 - The Judith River Dinosaur Institute is established in Fergus County, attracting paleontologists and researchers from around the world.
  • 2010 - The population of Fergus County is around 11,586.