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081 Montana Wagon Roads 1879

081 Montana Wagon Roads 1879

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An early rendering of the state of Montana. Towns featured on the map include Missoula, Corvallis, Deer Lodge City, Helena, Diamond City, Citadel Rock, as well as several others. Regarding the map itself, typical relief is shown using hachure marks and spot heights. The state is outlined in color and the border is quite minimal, showing basic guides for latitude and longitude.

Many other points of historic and state interest are also shown on the map. These include lakes, springs, trading posts, forts, railroad propositions, and mountains. Montana was growing at the time and this map certainly reflects that. The fact that so many places of interest and towns can be found attest to a time in Montana's history when westward expansion was at the height of its movement. It would not be long before the state would be peppered with mining camps, trade routes, and many more towns, as the state's population would begin to explode.

There is a bit of irony within this map concerning the state and date of production. In the same year, a couple of mega steamboats were built to transport cargo and passengers down the Missouri River. It was named the Montana in honor of the large state itself. Looking at the map it is clear to see that the railroad is on the way to expansion. It would soon become the primary means of transportation for goods and services.

The Montana steamboat almost serves as a dirge to an era that would soon disappear. It is like having an old butler greet you at the door of an old mansion that is slowly, but surely, being outfitted and updated with modern conveniences. The butler looks a bit out of place, but will keep doing his job as long as it is available. This map of Montana gives us a hint of things to come as our nation continued to grow.

All sizes are approximate. 


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