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.
Sweet Grass County, Montana has a rich history that dates back many centuries. Native American tribes, including the Crow and Sioux, roamed the area hunting and foraging before the arrival of European settlers. In the early 1800s, fur trappers and explorers, such as members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, ventured into the region, establishing trade relationships with the tribes.

The first permanent settlers arrived in the mid-1800s, drawn to the area due to its fertile lands and abundant water sources. Gold was discovered in Sweet Grass County in the late 1860s, leading to a rush of miners seeking their fortunes. However, the gold boom was short-lived, and by the late 1870s, ranching became the primary industry in the area.

The town of Big Timber, the county seat of Sweet Grass County, was established in 1880. It quickly grew into a bustling center of commerce and trade, serving as a hub for local farmers and ranchers. The Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in the 1880s, further enhancing the town's importance as a transportation and shipping hub.

In the 20th century, Sweet Grass County continued to be primarily agricultural, with ranching and farming sustaining the local economy. The community also saw the construction of infrastructure, including schools, churches, and businesses, which further solidified the county's role as an essential part of Montana's rural landscape.

Today, Sweet Grass County maintains a strong sense of its western heritage. The area attracts visitors with its stunning natural landscapes, including the Crazy Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. While the county's economy is still rooted in agriculture, the community has also embraced tourism as a way to showcase its history and natural beauty to the wider world.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Sweet Grass County, Montana.

  • 1864 - Sweet Grass County is established as a county in the Montana Territory.
  • 1886 - The first post office in Sweet Grass County is established in Big Timber.
  • 1898 - The Montana Legislature designates Big Timber as the county seat.
  • 1902 - The first courthouse in Sweet Grass County is built in Big Timber.
  • 1910 - Sweet Grass County experiences a boom in population due to the growing agriculture industry.
  • 1918 - The original courthouse is destroyed by a fire, and a new one is built in its place.
  • 1936 - The Sweet Grass County Museum is established to preserve and showcase the county's history.
  • 1985 - Sweet Grass County celebrates its centennial anniversary.
  • 1998 - The Carnegie Library in Big Timber is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2000 - The population of Sweet Grass County reaches its peak at over 3,800 residents.