After the turn of the twentieth century homesteaders poured into Montana, and by 1910 the area’s land office at Great Falls processed between a thousand and fifteen hundred homestead filings per month. The peaceful little river town of Fort Benton…

This grandiose, three-story Italianate style hotel welcomed weary river travelers to the Gateway of the Northwest, offering guests a luxurious refuge before setting out for less civilized destinations. Its opening in 1882 came at the end of the…

When Frank Coombs teamed up with architect Thomas Tweedy for the construction of the Grand Union Hotel across the street, they and J. R. Wilton also built this rather unpretentious commercial building. Begun in June and completed in September of…

Originally this site was occupied by a wooden frame building that housed Mose Solomon’s Medicine Lodge. This legendary saloon was open twenty-four hours a day from spring thaw to first snow. When the building burned, prominent lawyer, customs…

Financial ruin in the wake of the Civil War brought brothers Charles E. and William G. Conrad from Virginia to Fort Benton in 1867. Both quickly rose from clerks with I. G. Baker’s mercantile to full company partners in Baker’s vast western empire,…

I.  G. Baker and T. C. Power built the original Twing House in 1868. Under the watchful eye of Mrs. Twing, this “downtown” hotel competed with the Overland. The hotel closed in 1870 and was rented as military officers’ quarters. It reopened as the…