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Trip Planner USA  /  Montana  /  Lewistown

Lewistown

4.5
Specialty Museums · Landmarks
Lewistown is a city in and the county seat of Fergus County, Montana, United States. The population was 5,901 at the 2010 census. Lewistown is located in central Montana, the geographic center of the state, southeast of Great Falls. First planned in 1882, it was the site of an 1880s gold rush.HistoryThe area that is now Lewistown was once the territory of the Blackfoot Native Americans. In 1874, Fort Lewis was established there by Company "F" of the 7th U.S. Infantry to provide military protection for people traveling on the Carroll Trail, then the shortest route between Carroll, Montana and Helena. Lewistown is named after this fort.The first permanent settlers of Lewistown were Métis. The Metis established Lewistown in 1879. Pierre Berger is credited with being the founder of Lewistown. Berger, along with his wife Judith Wilkie Berger, son Isadore Berger, Isaie Berger, Jean Baptiste Berger and Jacques Berger, as well as several other families made the trek into the Lewistown area in 1879. Francis Janeaux came with the second group. Janeaux founded the first public school house in 1883. This date is considered the official "founding" of Lewistown.Lewistown was also the site of a gold rush when gold was discovered in the nearby Judith Mountains in 1880. Before the gold rush, Maiden was the largest city in central Montana. When the gold supply ran out, many of the miners gained new employment in Lewistown and settled there permanently.
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