All Montana Area Codes are 406
The only Kentucky Derby winner to come from Montana came from the Bayer Ranch near Twin Bridges. Spokane won the 1886 Derby with six-to-one odds. The unusual wedding cake type barn of the Bayer Ranch can be seen from the highway to the east while driv- ing south of Twin Bridges.
they decided to name the three rivers that formed the Jefferson River for the three “cardinal virtues” of their president and benefactor for whom they had just named the Jefferson River. Unfortunately, the names of Philosophy, Philanthropy, and Wisdom were a little hard for settlers that later came through and the rivers were renamed the Big Hole, Ruby, and Beaverhead.
H Jefferson Valley N of Twin Bridges
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, westward bound, came up the Jefferson River in August, 1805. They were hoping to find the Shoshone Indians, Sacajawea’s tribe, and trade for horses to use in crossing the moun- tains west of here. Just south of here the river forks, the east fork being the Ruby and the west fork the Beaverhead. They followed the latter and met the Shoshones near Armstead, which is now under the Clark Canyon Reservoir 20 miles south of Dillon.
On the return trip from the coast in 1806, Capt. Wm. Clark retraced their former route down this val- ley to Three Forks, and then crossed the Yellowstone. Capt. Lewis left Clark in the Bitter Root Valley, crossed the Divide via the Big Blackfoot River and thence to Great Falls. They met near the mouth of the Yellowstone, arriving within nine days of each other.
D Mer. Lewis
August 6, 1805
we therefore determined that the middle fork was
that which ought of right to bear the name we had given to the lower portion or River Jefferson, and called the bold rapid an[d] clear streem Wisdom, and the more mild and placid one which flows in from the S.E. Philanthrophy, in commemoration of two of those cardinal virtues, which have tso eminently marked that deservedly selibrated character through life.
10 mi NW of Twin Bridges
Rochester was once the major gold mining area in the region and at one time had a population of almost 5,000. Today all that remains is a few stone foundations and a fenced in cemetery, most of the town’s buildings lost to vandalism. To get there drive west on Hwy. 41 out of Twin Bridges
to just past where the road curves. Turn right on Melrose Twin Bridges County Road. Follow this road a little more than two miles until it crosses over Rochester Creek. A few yards on the other side of the creek is a road that follows the creek. Turn north here. The town is approximately seven miles down this road.
T Montana Children’s Center
Twin Bridges Historical Association. 684-5701
The economy of Twin Bridges was waning after the decline of the mining boom at the end of the 1800s. That’s when the Montana Children’s Center was established to give the local economy a boost. Better known as the orphanage, the 223 acre com- plex on the Beaverhead River was home to over 6,000 children through it’s 80 year history. Children were delivered to the orphanage for many reasons over the eighty-two years of it’s duration.
The Children’s Center was a self-sustaining community where residents were taught to be pro- ficient in life skills. It had it’s own hospital, swim- ming pool, dairy, livestock, and elementary school. The Center provided well for the children who lived there, teaching true work ethics and lifelong skills. The orphanage has been vacant since closing in 1975 and the buildings have fall- en into disrepair, but remain an imposing part of the Twin Bridges landscape. The Twin Bridges Museum has preserved remnants and the history of the Children’s Center.
V Four Rivers Fishing Company 205 S Main St in Twin Bridges. 684-5651
Four Rivers Fishing Company is a full service fly shop located in the center of the blue ribbon trout fishing waters of four great rivers—Ruby, Beaverhead, Big Hole, and Jefferson. Experienced guides and knowledgeable staff will lead you to great fishing holes and help you select the right gear. They’ll arrange personalized walk/wade trips, float trips, and fishing and lodging packages. The Jefferson River Camp, a documented Lewis and Clark campsite, has accommodations from primi- tive to RV sites to luxury cabins. The Stonefly Inn in Twin Bridges offers six cabins with private baths, a guest lounge and plenty of room for gear. Gear may be purchased in the shop, which sells locally manufactured Winston Fly Rods. These outstanding guides are in high demand and book quickly. Call for reservations or stop for supplies and local fishing advice.
F The Shack Restaurant 301 N Main St in Twin Bridges. 684-5050
There’s good reason The Shack is known as “Home of Patty’s Famous Pizza.” Their pizza crusts are all made from scratch. They load them with the freshest ingredients. And they offer a choice of regular crust, honey wheat, original or thin. Bottom line, if it doesn’t taste good, they don’t serve it. It doesn’t stop at great pizza though. They serve up hot and cold sandwiches made with bread baked on premise. Outstanding burgers and steaks are on hand with beer and wine to compli- ment them. Sample some of the local microbrews from five taps rotated regularly. Top off the good eats with locally made Wilcoxson’s ice cream. Great sack lunches are available for the road if you just can’t linger. The Shack is a healthy choice, too, as nothing is fried.
F Wagon Wheel Restaurant
207 N Main St in Twin Bridges. 684-5099
LFThe Old Hotel, Restaurant, and Bed & Breakfast
101 E 5th Ave in Twin Bridges. 684-5959. www.theoldhotel.com
S Timeless Treasures Quilt Gallery
W of Main St light, 1/2 mile W off Hwy 41, take High Rd Fishing Access turn in Twin Bridges. 684-5719
Radar Creek area near Toll Mountain southeast of Butte on Hwy. 2. Look here for smokey quartz crystals. At the Toll Mountain Campground look for limonite cubes. At the Boulder Batholith just east of Butte, look for quartz crystals.
Crystal Butte is about 8 miles west of Twin Bridges. This is a good place to find white quartz crystals.
Virginia City area. The gold rush may be over but you can still find placer deposits of gold in the tailings between Virginia City and Alder.
Sheridan area. Near Indian Creek west of town you can find white and honey-colored, banded masses of calcite.
Ruby Dam south of Alder is a good place to find calcite, garnets and opalite.
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Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia