Fort Shaw, Montana

Fort Shaw, Montana
A typical view around Fort Shaw

Fort Shaw began existence as Camp Reynolds, an Army post built by the 13th US Infantry on the Sun River about 24 miles west of Great Falls in 1867. Shortly after completion, the name was changed to Fort Shaw in honor of Colonel Robert Shaw of Civil War fame. To the east were the Plains Indians and the great buffalo range. To the south and west were Montana's mining camps and earliest settlements. To the north was Blackfeet country. The site is on the old Mullan Road, a route which saw lots of emigrant settlers and fortune-hunting miners passing through and getting raided by Blackfeet Indians. The Mullan Road (which stretched from Fort Benton, Montana and Fort Walla Walla Washington) was also traveled by stagecoaches and freight companies going between Fort Benton (head of navigation on the Missouri River) and the Last Chance Gulch placer mines near Helena.

It was from Fort Shaw that General Gibbon rode out with the Seventh Infantry one fateful day in 1876, ordered to join up with General Perry and General George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry at the Yellowstone River. Troops from Fort Shaw also took part in the "Battle of the Big Hole" against the Nez Perce in 1877.

In the 1880's, Fort Shaw was known for its social scene, and as the site of Montana's first professional stage performance. The Army abandoned the site in 1890 but the buildings later served as an Indian school. When the Great Northern Railway built a spur line between Vaughn and Augusta, the settlement's fortunes were revived.

Fast Facts about Fort Shaw, Montana
Fort Shaw, Cascade County, MT 59443
Census Designated Place
Elevation: 3,504'
Latitude: 47.5043°N
Longitude: 111.8113°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 92.8%
Hispanic: 4.3%
Asian: 2.9%
High School or Higher: 90.3%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 16.0%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 2.9%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 279
Males: 140
Females: 139
Median Resident Age: 38.0 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $45,650
Estimated Median Home Value: $195,800
Population Density: 49 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Fort Shaw: 87.5
Major Industries:
Health Care, Government, Transportation Services, Educational Services, Construction, Agriculture, Professional Services, Farm Product Wholesalers, Building Materials Suppliers
Unemployed (March 2011): 6.9%
Text Copyright © by All rights reserved.