Once again we were in the right place at the right time when we drove to Fort Connah, 40 miles north on Hwy 93 near the town of St Ignasius. On our last visit in 2010, we were unable to gain access. However, today a descendant of Angus McDonald,Ed Williams who is a great,great grandson was doing some work on the property and graciously agree to give us a tour. During the tour, Joe McDonald who is also a great,great grandson drove up and spent time with us relating a history of the fort.
|John,Joe & Ed|
|Angus McDonald Family History Display|
|Tepee Similar to Home of Catherine Angus|
|Ed in Front of Trading Post|
The post was started in 1846 and finished by Angus McDonald in 1847 for the Hudson's Bay Company.Angus came from Scotland and was married to a Nez Perce woman named Catherine. She bore him some 14 children losing several in childbirth or a young age. Ed and Joe said she was never comfortable living in a cabin and preferred a tepee.
The main trade of the post was in furs with the post being the main link between forts on both sides of the Rockies. After the northern boundary of the US was established,it was ordered closed in 1871.
The site is being restored and twice a year has a Rendezvous in May and September.
Thank you Ed and Joe for the history and tour.
After leaving the Fort we stopped at Four Winds Indian Trading post operated by Preston Miller for over 40 years.
|Structure History at Four Winds Trading Post..now a store|
|Buildings on Four Winds Property|
Realizing our interest in history, he offered to give us a tour of his collections over the years.We were amazed as we toured the buildings housing his collections. He even has an extensive train and toy display. His collection of Native American artifacts,art and costumes are unsurpassed by any museum.Thank you,Preston, for taking the time.
|Model Train Display|
Returning to Missoula, we toured Fort Missoula which we did in 2010.
Fort Missoula was established in 1877 for protection in the event of conflict with local tribes. The 25th Infantry arrived in 1888. When the Spanish American was broke out in 1898, the 25th was one of the first units called to fight and served in Cuba and the Philippines. In 1904, the fort underwent a remodel with a complex of concrete buildings. During WWI it served as a military training center. In 1941, it was used as a detention center for nonmilitary Italian men housing over 1200 internees and 650 Japanese-American men. Today most of the Fort has been repurposed to US Forest Service,BLM, University of Montana and other entities.
|Signage for Fort Missoula|
|Former HQTRS and Exchange-1906|
|Officers Row-Now Housing|