Image credit: Perry Backus – Ravalli Republic
A new chapter is set to begin soon at Fort Owen State Park.
On July 1, the gates will officially open to one of Montana’s smallest state parks that preserves a place with a long and storied past.
For the first time since the state took ownership in 1937 from the Stevensville Historical Society, visitors will have more than a couple of parking places to choose from.
Those who chose to make the trip will travel on a brand-new asphalt road to the entrance of a recently completed parking lot large enough for 13 cars and an RV or two.
The park they’ll visit remains much the same as it’s been for years. The only original structure still standing is a portion of the East Barracks that was constructed out of adobe bricks. It was built sometime in the 1840s or 1850s.
The changes have just started for the location of the first permanent white settlement in Montana.
“It’s a brand new chapter and we are excited to be able to share it with people,” said the park’s manager, Maci MacPherson.