Charlo, Montana is a small town located in Lake County, about 50 miles north of Missoula. Though the town itself may not have much of a history, the surrounding area has seen its fair share of interesting events and moments in time. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Charlo, MT.
1. Salish-Pend d'Oreille Cession of 1855 - In 1855, the Salish and Pend d'Oreille tribes signed a treaty with the U.S. government that ceded over 22 million acres of land, including the area where Charlo now sits. This treaty opened up the area to white settlement and sparked conflict between the tribes and the newcomers.
2. Flathead Indian Reservation - In the aftermath of the 1855 treaty, the U.S. government established the Flathead Indian Reservation, which encompasses the area around Charlo. The reservation was intended to be a permanent home for the Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai tribes, but they continued to face pressure from white settlers and the government.
3. Fort Owen - Located about 20 miles south of Charlo, Fort Owen was the first permanent white settlement in Montana. It was established in 1850 by John Owen, a fur trader and entrepreneur, and served as a trading post and way station along the Mullan Road.
4. Flathead Valley Railroad - In the late 1800s and early 1900s, several railroads were built through the Flathead Valley, including the Flathead Valley Railroad. The line ran from Kalispell to Dayton, just a few miles west of Charlo, and carried passengers and freight through the area.
5. Ammunition dump explosion - During World War II, the U.S. Army established an ammunition dump near Polson, just south of Charlo. In 1945, the dump exploded, killing two people and causing extensive damage to the surrounding area.
6. Construction of Kerr Dam - In the 1930s and 1940s, the U.S. government built several dams along the Flathead River, including Kerr Dam just to the north of Charlo. The dam was completed in 1938 and generates hydroelectric power for the area.
7. Bison herd relocation - In 2016, a herd of about 100 bison was relocated from Yellowstone National Park to the Flathead Indian Reservation. The bison were held in quarantine for several months near Charlo before being released onto tribal lands, where they can roam freely and contribute to the ecosystem.
These are just a few of the many historical events that have taken place near Charlo, Montana. From the Salish-Pend d'Oreille cession to the bison relocation, these events have shaped the area's past and continue to leave their mark on the present.
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