Fort Connah -
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 47° 24.548 W 114° 05.799
11T E 719030 N 5254718
On the east side of Highway 93, 3.3 miles south of Highway 212, which leads to Charlo, Montana, is this Historical Marker. It is about a half mile west northwest of the site of Fort Connah.
Waymark Code: WMKWPC
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 06/04/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 7

Fort Connah was the final Hudson's Bay Trading Post built in the U.S. Only one of the original buildings still remains. It is the storehouse from the fort and the National Historic Register believes it to be the oldest building still standing in Montana. Two other cabins, one from 1870, have been moved to the site. Fort Connah was listed on the National Historic Register in 1982.

It is open by appointment and Friday - Monday from April through September.
The British Hudson’s Bay Company established a trading post on this site in 1846. It was the powerful company’s last post built within the boundaries of the United States and represents the British effort to stave off competition from American traders west of the Continental Divide. Fort Connah, just under construction, escaped scrutiny when the 1846 Oregon Treaty established U.S. ownership of land below the 49th parallel. Angus McDonald took charge of the post in 1847 naming it Fort Connen after a river valley in his native Scotland. The name evolved through Native American usage to Fort Connah.

An important link between forts on either side of the Rocky Mountains, the main trade was in furs, but buffalo meat, pemmican, and buffalo skin saddle blankets as well as rawhide and hair cordage were other key trade items the company could not obtain west of the Divide.

The Hudson’s Bay Company continued to defy the law and operated in the twilight of the fur trade era until encroaching settlement brought its closure in 1871. Angus McDonald’s son Duncan, who was born at the fort, served as its last factor. Angus later acquired the property and died here in 1889. He, his wife, and their descendants were prominent in the development of this region and are buried in the nearby cemetery. The sole surviving fort structure, built of channeled log in 1846, is Montana’s oldest standing building. The site is under the care of the Fort Connah Restoration Society.
From the NRHP Plaque

Construction of the last Hudson's Bay Trading Post, within the present borders of the United States, was started here in 1846, and was completed in 1847 by Angus McDonald. Angus originally named the fort "Connen" after a river valley in his Scottish homeland, but later changed it to Connah for easier pronunciation by the Salish, Kootenai, Pend d'Orielle and other Indians in the area. Fort Connah was built about 1/2 mile east of here and remained an important trading center for the Indians until the U.S. Government forced the British owned company to abandon the post in 1871. At its height, Fort Connah consisted of only three buildings. The store house is the only original structure that still survives.

The Mission Valley was thrown open for settlement in 1910. Prior to that time it was almost entirely virgin prairie, unplowed, unfenced and beautiful to see. You rode a saddle horse to get places. Some people wish it were still like that today.

Many descendants of Angus McDonald still live in the Mission Valley.
From the Montana Historical Marker
Describe the area and history:
Looking southeast from the marker with binoculars allows one to see the remains of the fort, including reconstructed buildings that are not original.

Visit Instructions:
Please describe your visit- The good, the bad & the ugly. :)
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Montana Historical Markers
Nearest Geocaches
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
RETIKON visited Fort Connah - 07/12/2014 RETIKON visited it
TrekStarL visited Fort Connah - 07/12/2014 TrekStarL visited it
yetispaghetti visited Fort Connah - 06/26/2014 yetispaghetti visited it

View all visits/logs