- Jul 07 2022
- 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Regional History with Ken Robison
In Honor of the Upper Missouri Steamboat Era
The Death of the Steamboats Chippewa and Bertrand
The first steamboats ever to reach the Fort Benton Levee, the Chippewa and Key West, heralded the opening of the steamboat era on the upper Missouri in July 1860. The Chippewa returned to the upper river the next year at the dawn of the Civil War, only to blow up and sink, becoming the first steamboat to enter the upper Missouri graveyard. Five years later, just as the Civil War was ending, the new construction steamer Bertrand loaded with freight and passengers, departed St. Louis bound for Fort Benton. She never made it, but today provides a treasure-trove of artifacts revealing much about culture and life in gold rush Montana.
Award-winning historian Ken Robison invites you to board those two steamboats with him on their fateful trips to the upper Missouri.