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Big Timber, Montana is the Sweet Grass County seat of government. Located in south-central Montana, Big Timber is bordered by the Yellowstone and Boulder rivers. Captain William Clark led his Corps of Discovery into the area that is now Sweet Grass in 1806, but the area wasn’t settled until 1883, after the Northern Pacific Railroad extended its track through the region, establishing a railroad station at what was originally named Dornix, situated at the confluence of the two rivers. Its early economy was centered on a saw mill and lumber operations. Before long though, the center of the town moved to higher ground, and was renamed Big Timber for the large cottonwood trees that grew along the rivers. Until 1891, Big Timber was a part of the Crow Indian reservation lands. Sheep were introduced to Big Timber in 1880, beginning a long history of sheep and cattle ranching. The first woolen mill opened in Big Timber in 1901 and, at one time, the city shipped more wool than any other city in the country. Big Timber was incorporated as a city in 1902. While ranching and farming continue to be important factors in the local economy, platinum and palladium mining is also a contributing factor. Judy Martz, the 22nd governor of Montana, was born and graduated from high school in Big Timber. The city is situated along I-95, at the Highway 191 exit, northwest of Greycliff and northeast of Livingston.

 

 

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