True western hospitality awaits visitors to Augusta.....
Waving prairie grasses and scattered timber invited cattlemen into the Augusta area in the early settlement days of Montana. One of the very first white explorer's to view the beauty of the Augusta area was Captain Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In early July of 1806, Lewis and his men traveled through this area and camped several nights near the present site of Augusta. The extensive journals maintained by Lewis contain references to the mountain south of Augusta, known today as Haystack Butte, and the "extensive, beautiful and level bottom" of the Augusta area.
In 1862 Congress insured safe transportation west for wagon trains entering into hostile Indian country. It was about this same time came that cattlemen arrived in Montana with their large herds of cattle. Huge areas of land were controlled by these large cattle operations under a law called "customary range". The South Fork of the Sun River near Augusta earned the reputation of being one of the stock paradises of Montana. Cattle thrived on the native grasses and at one time it was thought there were more than a half-million of cattle in the immediate vicinity.
The Montana Territory was accepted into statehood in 1889 and the original Augusta town site was surveyed and dedicated on May 8, 1893. The most accepted version in the naming of the town is after Augusta Hogan who was thought to be the first child born in the town.
Some of the more significant changes which have impacted Augusta over the years include:
Today, Augusta's history, heritage, and livelihood remain rooted in the cattle business. In addition, Augusta is the gateway to the immense Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex that offers hikers and backpackers access to the unspoiled, rugged beauty of the high country. In addition to the spectacular landscape, true western hospitality awaits visitors to Augusta with our gift shops, an array of food and drink opportunities, motel/hotel accommodations, campgrounds, and an RV park.
- The Bureau of Reclamation's efforts to irrigate more land and the creation of the Willow Creek Reservoir in 1908 and it's enlargement in 1941;
- Completion of Gibson Dam in 1929, the last of the major irrigation projects in the Sun River drainage;
- The Forest Service's consolidation of three former districts into the Augusta Ranger District which remains a vital part of our community today;
- Creation of the Bob Marshall Wilderness in 1940; and
- The acquisition and opening of the Sun River Game Range in 1947.
Stop by and say hello!