States In Order Of Joining The Union: #41 Montana
By Dena Miller
April 3, 2021 10:09am CST
Montana became a state on November 8, 1889. The capital is Helena. The states nick name is the Treasure state. Large gold and silver mines gave rise to this nickname. Later in 1962 the state highway department gave another nickname to the state, Big Sky Country as the state has unobstructed skyline in most of the state. The state measures about 321 miles north to south and 560 miles east to west making it the 4th largest state in the US. The state borders include Canada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho. French brothers François and Louis-Joseph Verendrye are credited as being the first European explorers to the region in the early 1740's. They also explored the Dakota's. The US bought the region from France with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Western Montana would be bought from Britain with the the Oregon Treaty of 1846. The Indian Wars Campaigns saw the Cheyenne and Sioux Indian tribes fight against the US Calvary. In 1876 the most famous of the wars was the Battle of the Little Big Horn sometimes referred to as Custer's Last Stand. The tribes killed General George Custer and 200 of his men in the southeast part of the state. Montana's early history was concerned with mining, with copper, lead, zinc, silver, coal, and oil. Butte is the center of the area that once supplied half of the U.S. copper. Today major crops grown include barley, rye, oats, flaxseed, sugar beets, and potatoes along with cattle and sheep farms. The origin of the name Montana comes from the Spanish word for mountainous. Montana is the only state in the US with a triple divide, which allows waters to flow to Hudson Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. This phenomenon occurs at Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park. The Yellowstone River is the longest free-flowing, has no dams on it, in the continental US. The Missouri River, the longest river in the US, begins at what is called the Three Forks, an intersection of the Gallatin, Madison and Jefferson Rivers. Flathead Lake is the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi River. There are 9 national parks within Montana including Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park probably the two most famous. You can also visit Nez Perce National Historical Park, Big Hole National Battlefield, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. 1862 the famous ghost town Bannack was founded during the largest western gold rush since the California Gold Rush in 1848. It was first capital of Montana Territory until the capital was moved to Virginia City. Later the capital would be moved to Helena. Missoula resident Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to the US Congress in 1916. Montana has the largest migratory elk herd in the nation The Montana Yogo Sapphire is the only North American gem to be included in the Crown Jewels of England. 1888 Helena had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world. 46 out of Montana’s 56 counties are considered “frontier counties” with an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile. I would love to live here. Henry Plummer an outlaw would become sheriff of Montana’s Gold Country in the 1860's. He would build the first jail in the state. He moved from Maine to where the gold was in Nevada, California and eventually settled in Montana. While living in California he was involved with the murder of 2 people, horse stealing among other things. He would be arrested and put in jail but escaped and traveled to Bannack. There he met and married Electra Bryan, who knew nothing of his past. He was elected sheriff, but because he was believed to be the leader of a gang of murderous road agents, he was hanged by the local vigilantes. Montana, like the Dakota's, are on my bucket list for sure. There are so many national parks and open space. I am sure @TheHorse can add more to what this state has to offer than I can as I know he goes there.
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