Living History in Fort Benton, MT

Fort Benton, MT is located on the Missouri River about 40 minutes from Great Falls. It was once dubbed the World’s Most Inland Port because of all the steamboats that landed there. You’d be hard pressed to visit Fort Benton and not know how proud this town is of it’s history.

This past week I had a chance to take a guided tour of the Old Fort. Our tour guide was named Burnt Spoon and I was hesitant to ask the origin of that name! Dressed in period clothing, he gave an informative and animated tour with more history than I’ve learned in quite awhile.

The old blockhouse of the early day fort still stands. Newly constructed buildings have been placed in position of the original fort, thanks to archeological digs to determine location of the corners and main buildings. Many Native American artifacts are displayed, mostly from the Blackfeet tribe. When you step into the main trading post, you really can picture early day commerce.

Guided tours are offered twice a day, 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. You’ll feel like an early-day fur trader, or at least have a greater appreciation for this era in history. After a tour of the fort, a stroll down Fort Benton’s levee will give you a better glimpse into how this town has been shaped.

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