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Section 6

All Montana Area Codes are 406

D William Clark

August 5, 1805

“Men much fatiqued from their excessive labours in hauling the Canoes over the rapids & very weak being in the water all day.”

D William Clark

August 8, 1805

“the Indian woman recognized the point of a high plain to our right which she informed us was not very distant from the summer retreat of her nation on a river beyond the mountains which runs to the west. this hill she says her nation calls the beaver’s head from a conceived remblance of it’s figure to the head of the animal. . .I determined to proceed tomorrow. . .untill I find the Indians. . . “

T Beaverhead Rock State Park 14 mi S of Twin Bridges on MT 41. 834-3413

Sacajawea recognized this huge landmark, resem- bling the head of a swimming beaver, while travel- ing with Lewis and Clark in 1805, helping the party with their orientation. Day use only.

18. Food, Lodging

Rocker This town has had its ups and downs. It first grew up around the Bluebird Mine, but faded when the mine closed in 1893. It was reborn when the Pacific Railroad chose Rocker as the division point where ore cars were made up between Butte and Anaconda. The name came from a cradle-like machine called a rocker which was used to wash gold from gravel by early miners.


Melrose Just off of I15 south of Butte on the Big Hole River, is the town of Melrose. Some of the log cab- ins have survived the years and are still used as


The Vigilante movement began the winter of 1863 in Alder Gulch. While thousands came to the fields to mine gold others came with them who had other ideas for making money. Gamblers, dance-hall girls, and crooks flooded into the area with the miners. While every part of the west had its share of criminals, Alder Gulch had someone to organize them in the personage of Henry Plummer. A smooth, shrewd con man with a rap sheet going back 10 year, Plummer arrived in Bannack in the winter of ‘62-’63. By spring, he had conned everyone and was wearing the sheriff’s badge. Now in control of the law, he began to organ- ize the criminal elements into a cohesive unit that terrorized the thousands in the area.

After suffering through a year of Mr. Plummer’s reign, the honest miners took matters into their own hands. A three day trial in Nevada City claimed its first “Road Agent,” and George Ives was hanged, and the Montana Vigilantes were formed. During the next two months, the Vigilantes cleaned up the area. The nucleus of the Plummer gang were either hanged or ban- ished and the consummate conman finished his reign at the end of a noose.


residences. Other original buildings that have been vacated are still standing from the days when this town was a supply depot for mining camps. There is also a motel, guest ranch, and Bed and Breakfast in the area and plenty of fishing.

Divide Divide is named for the town’s proximity to the Continental Divide. At one time the town was a station on the Union Pacific and was a distribu- tion and stock shipping point for farms and ranches of the Big Hole Valley.

T Glendale W of Melrose

To reach this town, take Trapper Creek Road west out of Melrose for about 15 miles. This was the largest of several towns in the Bryant Mining District. The others, Lion City, Greenwood, Trapper City and Hecla have virtually vanished. At one time Glendale had a population of over 1,500 people, a school for 200 students, a Methodist church, commercial stores, and a water works sys- tem. The Hecla Mining Company was the main employer from 1881 to 1900. During it’s short life, it mined ore that was valued at over $22 million. The most interesting remains are those of the old Coke ovens which provided over 100,000 bushels of charcoal a month for the smelter. The ovens and the smelter stack are still in evidence on the road north of town. When the Hecla Mine shut down in 1904, the residents quickly deserted the town.


Rancher D.S Dewey is honored as this town’s namesake after building the first cabin in the area during the late 1800s. Although the lumber industry initially attracted new settlers to the com- munity, a quartz lode was later discovered. The subsequent mining boom drastically increased the town’s population with peak activity occurring between 1877 and 1895. Today, Dewey is simply a mining ghost town whose location near the Big Hole River attracts area fisherman.

FLS Lively’s Melrose Bar & Cafe, Pioneer Mountain Cabins & Fly Candles

120 Main St in Melrose. 835-2711. bigholecabins.com

Just a short walk from outstanding fishing on the Big Hole River, these comfortable cabins are fur- nished with two queen beds, bathroom, a front porch, and private deck. They also have air condi- tioning, microwaves, refrigerators, and coffee mak- ers. Right next door is some of the finest cuisine found anywhere. For four generations, the same family has served food so good, people come from more than 70 miles away to eat. Reservations are recommended on weekends. Huge jumbo prawns, smoked tenderloins, filet mignon, lobster, and lob- ster bisque are regular items on their menu. And Melrose is the home of the Original Fly Fishing Candle™. You have to see these to believe them. Each candle represents a spectacular fishing fly suspended above a river bottom. These wonder- fully scented candles are conversation pieces.

CL Sportsman Motel & RV Park

540 Main St in Melrose. 835-2141. www.sportsmanmt.com


T Humbug Spires

Primitive Area I-15 Exit 99

The gently rolling countryside here is starkly dis- rupted by nine 300 to 600-foot granite monoliths. No one knows how old these spires are. Estimates range from 70 million to 2 billion years old. They are part of the Boulder batholith that you see driv- ing over Homestake Pass near Butte and are a remarkable piece of Montana geology.


MSV Montana Fly Company

150 Main St by Hwy 91 S in Melrose. 835-2621. montanaflyco.com. mtflyco@3rivers.net

When hiring a fishing outfitter, you want someone who knows every little pool and riffle on the stream you’re working. George Goody was born in Melrose, grew up fishing the Big Hole, and has been doing so his entire life. He has been a licensed guide since 1972. He and his wife Sherry head a crew of some of the most knowledgeable and experienced, licensed guides found anywhere. Whether the Big Hole, Jefferson, Madison, Beaverhead, or Ruby River, if there’s fish, they’ll find them for you. They use driftboats and rubber rafts customized for fly-fishing, and provide trans- portation to and from the river. They also operate a full service fly shop and offer shuttles for those who would rather go it alone. If catching fish is your goal, these folks are your guides.

Glen Located in a glen between the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers, Glen is surrounded by rocky hillsides and began in 1878 under the name “Willis Station.” The town has seen several other name changes throughout its history, including Willis, Reichele, and finally, its current designa- tion as Glen. Once serving as a Union Pacific Railroad station, Glen has operated a post office since 1950 and rattlesnake hunts are a popular pastime for local residents.

H Browne’s Bridge

1 mi N of Glen

Browne’s Bridge was constructed as a toll bridge by Fred Burr and James Minesinger in late 1862 and early 1863. The bridge was located on the Bannack to Deer Lodge Road. Joseph Browne, a mine , bought the bridge in 1865. The territorial legislature granted him a charter to maintain the bridge and charge travelers

Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia

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