Overall History of Montana

September 19th, 2011 12:02 am

Montana has seen many a historical conflict between white settlers and Native American tribes, including battles of the Big Hole and Rosebud. The gold frenzy hit in 1863, with a discovery near Bannack. Marcus Daly struck the world’s largest and purest copper vein in Butte, which was mined for the next hundred years.

In 1889 Montana became the 41st state of the Union. Though tourism began to sweep through the Rockies in the late 19th century, the boom didn’t really hit Montana until the 1980s. More than 25 years later the state’s tourist attractions are now the major backbone of the local economy.

The Expansion of Agriculture

September 18th, 2011 11:56 pm

After the coming of the railroads, farmers arrived by the trainload to develop the lands of E Montana. They planted their fields in the second decade of the 20th cent. The initial bounteous wheat yield did not last long; the calamitous drought of 1919 and the consequent dust storms seared the fields, and in the 1920s the farms began to disappear as rapidly as they had been established.

When the Great Depression began in 1929, Montana was already accustomed to depression. In subsequent years vigorous measures were taken to aid agriculture in the state, and by the late 1940s federal dam and irrigation projects—on the Missouri, the Yellowstone, the Marias, the Sun, and elsewhere—opened many acres to cultivation. Some of the vast grazing lands were brought under planned use, and the development of hydroelectric power continued. Major multipurpose dams in Montana producing power include Fort Peck, Hungry Horse, and Canyon Ferry.