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7 Pieces Of History Near Westby, MT

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Westby, Montana is a small town located in Sheridan County, in the north of Montana. Despite its small size and remoteness, Westby has a rich history. Here are seven of the most significant historical events that have taken place near Westby:

1. The Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806)

Westby is located near the Missouri River, which was explored by Lewis and Clark in their famous expedition across the Western United States. While Westby was not directly visited by the explorers, their journey helped to open up the West to further exploration and settlement.

2. The Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876)

The Battle of the Little Bighorn took place near Westby, Montana, in 1876. The battle was fought between the United States Army and Native American tribes, including the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne. The battle was a decisive victory for the Native Americans, with many soldiers killed on both sides.

3. The Completion of the Northern Pacific Railway (1883)

The Northern Pacific Railway played a significant role in the settlement and development of the Western United States. It was completed in 1883, and Westby was one of the many towns that grew up around the railway line.

4. The Construction of the Fort Peck Dam (1933)

The Fort Peck Dam is located on the Missouri River, near Westby. It was constructed during the Great Depression as part of a massive public works project, and is still one of the largest hydropower facilities in the United States.

5. The German Prisoner of War Camp (1944-1946)

During World War II, a prisoner of war camp was established near Westby for captured German soldiers. The camp housed over 2,000 prisoners at its peak, and many of them were put to work on farms in the surrounding area.

6. The Oil Boom (1951-1977)

In the early 1950s, oil was discovered near Westby, and the town experienced a significant boom. Many new businesses and industries were established to support the oil drilling operations, and the population of the town grew rapidly.

7. The Highway 5 Bridge Collapse (1984)

In 1984, the Highway 5 bridge over the Missouri River collapsed, killing three people. The collapse was caused by a combination of poor design and construction, and it led to significant changes in bridge safety regulations in the United States.

In conclusion, the history of Westby and the surrounding area is rich and varied, encompassing everything from the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the modern-day oil industry. By learning about these historical events, we can gain a deeper understanding of the forces that have shaped this part of Montana and the United States as a whole.
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