National Register Listings in
Prairie County, Montana

The city of Butte, Montana, is known for its unique architecture, which is a mix of Victorian, Gothic, and Renaissance styles. The city's historic district has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.
Prairie County, MT, located in southeastern Montana, has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Nakoda, Cheyenne, and Sioux. These tribes utilized the land for hunting, gathering, and trade.

The region's history dramatically changed with the arrival of European explorers and fur traders in the early 1800s. Trappers and traders, such as Lewis and Clark, ventured through the area in search of valuable beaver pelts, establishing trade relationships with the Native tribes. The fur trade eventually declined in the mid-1800s, giving way to homesteading and agricultural development.

In 1867, Prairie County was established as a political subdivision within Montana Territory. The region quickly developed into an agricultural hub, with settlers taking advantage of the fertile soil to cultivate crops and raise livestock. Railroads played a crucial role in the county's development, providing a means of transportation for agricultural goods and connecting the area to larger markets.

The early 20th century brought challenges to Prairie County, as the Great Depression and Dust Bowl took a toll on the local economy. However, the resilience of the community led to a recovery in the following decades, fueled by advancements in agricultural techniques and increased mechanization.

Today, Prairie County continues to rely on agriculture as its primary economic driver, with ranching and farming playing a significant role in the local community. The county's rich history and scenic landscapes also make it an attractive destination for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts, who can explore the remnants of the past while enjoying the natural beauty of the region.

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

  • 1800s: The area that is now Prairie County is inhabited by Native American tribes including the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Crow.
  • 1864: Gold is discovered in the nearby Alder Gulch, leading to an influx of miners in the region.
  • Late 1800s: Ranching becomes the dominant industry in the area, with settlers establishing large cattle ranches.
  • 1883: A post office is established in Prairie County, named after the vast prairies that characterize the area.
  • 1915: The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad reaches Prairie County, improving transportation and stimulating economic growth.
  • 1920s: Agriculture becomes an important industry, with wheat and barley being major crops cultivated in the region.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression hits Prairie County hard, causing a decline in agricultural production and economic difficulties.
  • 1950s: The construction of the Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River brings economic opportunities and development to the region.
  • Present: Prairie County continues to be predominantly rural, with agriculture and ranching as the mainstays of the local economy.