Sweet Grass County, Montana | Area History

While traveling down the Yellowstone River on the return to home in 1806, Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition noted in his journal a point along the river where two streams entered the Yellowstone on opposite sides.  Captain Clark entered that location as “rivers across” in his landmark journal.  “Rivers Across” was to become the future neighborhood of Big Timber, Montana.

Originally established in 1883 at its current location, Big Timber premiered as a hub for large-scale sheep production and mining activity in the Boulder Valley south of the town.  In the early 1800’s, Big Timber was the largest wool shipping point in the United States with over five million pounds shipped in one year.  The prosperity of the sheep and cattle industries provided ample incentive for innovative business people to build the stores necessary to provide services to the stockmen.

Over the course of the years since its founding, Big Timber has grown to become home to a wide spectrum of agricultural, cultural, recreational, mining, and outdoor pursuits.