The remaining monument of the old fur trading days of Fort Benton stands on the banks of the Missouri River. This old northeast bastion is a mute reminder of the days when all of Montana was an unexplored wilderness, inhabited only by the tribes of the northern plains. Historic Fort Benton is being reconstructed as historically accurately as possible, based on the results of the archaeological excavations and extensive research. Here you will find excellent interpretation of the fur and robe trading era and interaction between the traders and the tribes of the Northern Plains.
The site of historic Fort Benton is a National Landmark. The site has undergone many dramatic changes that have affected its integrity since the Fort was abandoned in 1881. Sun dried adobe bricks were not able to stand up to the ravages of Montana's weather and by the 1940's only the preserved northeast bastion and a partial wall from the Engages' Quarters remained. Trees were planted throughout the site and it was transformed into a part of the city park. The original Northeast Bastion or Blockhouse has been restored and is open for viewing daily during the summer tourist season and on an appointment basis in the off-season. The Fort is currently being reconstructed and wonderful displays are now available inside the fort. The Trade Store, Warehouse and Blacksmith - Carpenters shop have been reconstructed and exhibits and displays are now in place. The reconstructed Bourgeois House includes the fort manager’s quarters, the clerks’ office, and the ceremonial room which houses the Starr Gallery of Western Art, currently showing rare Bob Scriver bronzes and Karl Bodmer lithographs.
The reconstructed portion of Historic Old Fort Benton will be opened for public viewing from Memorial Day weekend through the last Sunday of September 30. Hours are: Monday through Saturday 10:30am to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Docents are available and guided tours can be arranged for large groups or special visits through the Museum of the Upper Missouri or the Museum of the Northern Great Plains in Fort Benton.
Old Fort Benton is part of the Old Forts Trail, an international heritage tourism trail connecting 7 historic forts in Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. The Old Forts Trail highlights a historic travel route and facilities that were vital economic and military resources during the development of the Canadian and American West more than a century ago. You'll find information on the Old Forts Trail's interpretive centers, museums and its contemporary travel route at Old Forts Trail: www.oldfortstrail.com
Old Fort Park
Fort Benton, MT 59442