Fort Sherman (3)

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Fort Sherman (3) (1873-1874) - A fortified Story and Hoffman Company trading post established in 1873 near Lewistown, Fergus County, Montana. The fort was sold and the buildings were moved in 1874 to the Reed and Bowles Trading Post.

Drawing of Fort Sherman. The tree line in the background represents the Big Spring Creek path.


The possibility of a new Crow Indian reserve in the Judith Basin of the Central Montana Territory caught the attention of businessmen Nelson Story and Charles W. Hoffman. In the fall of 1873, Story and Hoffman retained Peter Koch to travel north from Bozeman with a bull train of materials to "build, stock and manage" a trading post at what became present-day Lewistown. He sited the new post on the west side of Big Spring Creek, just north of Little Casino Creek, and named it Fort Sherman. Big Spring Creek, true to its name, originates from a full flowing spring south of town and proceeds through town on a northwest track.

After the ox train with the goods and supplies arrived the new post was built in November and December 1873. These were the first permanent houses within the Judith Basin. Koch described the basin area as the finest game country, swarming with buffalo, elk, and deer.

It soon became evident that the Crow Indian reserve would not happen and Peter Koch left in March 1874. T. L. Dawes took charge of the Fort Sherman trading post. That year "Major" Alonzo S. Reed, and his partner John J. Bowles, purchased Fort Sherman from Story and Hoffman and moved several buildings down (North) on Big Spring Creek about a mile and a half, to the crossing of the new Carroll road, where it became known as Reed and Bowles Trading Post. This was a stockaded post with several buildings that provided quarters for both Reed and Bowles and their extended families as well as trading and mess facilities. It was also a stagecoach stop on Carroll road between the town of Carroll on the Missouri River and Helena Montana.

Current Status

The area where the fort was located is now completely overbuilt with more modern development. No on-site visible remains but two of the original buildings remain at the locations where they were moved by "Major" Reed.

Location: Lewistown, Fergus County, Montana.

Maps & Images

Lat: 47.0624732 Long: -109.428238

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 3,947'

GPS Locations:

See Also:



Fortification ID:

  • MT0180 - Fort Sherman (3)

Visited: 20 Jul 2022 Area

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