Fort Missoula was established in 1877 in reponse to the local townspeople who wanted protection from the Montana Indian Tribes. Construction of the open fort had just begun when the first skirmish with the non-treaty Nes Perce occurred. After a couple more encounters with the Native Americans they surrendered in the Bear Paw Mountains. The 25th Infantry arrived at Fort Missoula in 1888. The regiment was one of four made up of black soldiers and white officers after the Civil War. In 1896 this regiment was organized to test the military potential of bicycles. After a 1,900 mile bike trip from Missoula to St.Louis it was decided that bicycles could never replace horses. The fort was used during World War ll as an Alien Detention Center for non military Italian seamen, and later for Japanese-American men. It was decommissioned in 1947. Only three of the original buildings of the fort remain. Pictured below is the Quartermaster's storehouse where post supplies were kept. It has been remodeled and now houses some of the museum's galleries. A lot of the museum, indoors and outside, has nothing to do with the fort but with the history and material culture of the region around it.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Fort Missoula, Montana
Before I write about our trip to the fort, I wish to mention some other details about the town of Missoula. If you are fortunate to be here over the summer season, make sure to visit the farmer's markets. There are two of them in town on Saturdays during the summer months. I have never seen such a variety of vegetables, fruits and bakery goods before, especially not in one small town! A popular fruit right now, besides sweet cherries, are huckleberries. However, we found the huckleberries to be a bit expensive.