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The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Montana's Historic Timber Stringer Bridges, 1915-1960
Reference Number 64501199
State Montana
County Multiple Counties
Street Address
Multiple Property Submission Name Montana's Historic Timber Stringer Bridges, 1915-1960
Status Accepted 3/14/2014
Areas of Significance
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Army civil engineer John Mullan built the first timber bridges in Montana (territory) in 1860. In 1859, Mullan and a crew of 230 civilians and soldiers began construction of a 624-mile wagon road between Walla Walla, Washington and Fort Benton on the upper Missouri River in Montana. On the first hundred miles of the road east of the continental divide in western Montana, the company built 47 primitive log structures across the St. Regis-DeBorgia River; nearly all of them washed out during the spring run-off in 1861. The bridges were all simple structures, consisting of log stringers resting on log abutments. Mullan did not provide specific information on the decking of the structures. A contemporary photograph of one of the bridges does not show the decking. Mullan diligently replaced all the washed-out bridges and added a sixspan structure across the Blackfoot River near present Missoula to the system during the winter of 1862.

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