The Place Where the White Horse Went Down - Billings, Montana
Posted by: BruceS
N 45° 48.163 W 108° 28.848
12T E 695757 N 5075214
Quick Description: Historical marker outline an event which occurred as the result of the spread of small pox among the native Americans in this portion of Montana.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 7/15/2009 8:32:59 AM
Waymark Code: WM6RT5
Text of marker
The Place Where The White Horse Went Down
In 1837-38 a smallpox epidemic spread from the American Fur Trading Company steamboat St. Peter which had docked at Fort Union. The terrible disease for chich the Indians had no immunity eventually affected all Montana tribes. A story is told among the Crow of two young warriors returning from a war expedition who found their village stricken. One discovered his sweetheart among the dying, and both warriors, grieving over loss of friends and family, were despondent and frustrated because nothing could alter the course of events. The young warriors dressed in their finest clothing and mounted a snow-white horse. Riding double and singing their death songs, they drove the blindfolded horse over a cliff and land at what is now the eastern end of the Yellowstone County Exhibition grounds. Six teenage boys and six teenage girls who were not afflicted with disease witnessed the drama they buried the dead warriors and left camp. Great loss of life among the tribe followed in the wake of the epidemic. Although time has reduced the height of the cliff, the location is remembered even today as The Place Where the White Horse Went Down.