• A Fort Benton resident watches the sunset from the walking bridge over the frozen Missouri River. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    F is for… a lot of Montana cities

    In its continuing series exploring the ABCs of all Montana’s towns, the Missoulian is telling some pretty great stories.

    Last week’s installment featured all the Fs – and there are a lot. We challenge you to name them all…. 

    Along with a slideshow with images from all the F towns, reporter Kim Briggeman and photographer Kurt Wilson visited Fort Benton.

    What a cool place. 

    Fort Benton calls itself the “Birthplace of Montana” and its recorded history goes back to the 1840s, further than any other town in Montana except, depending on who’s arguing, Stevensville.

    It’s a history fashioned by the river as the highest navigable point on the Missouri and furthered first by the fur trade, then the steamboats and gold boom that jump-started Montana. The homestead era followed, and Fort Benton established itself and remains a farming town in Montana’s most fertile wheat-producing area.

    A obelisk and a painted steel cutout of Shep, arguably the most famous dog in Montana, stands on a bluff above the railroad station where the faithful dog held vigil for the return of his long-dead master for 5 1/2 years. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    A obelisk and a painted steel cutout of Shep, arguably the most famous dog in Montana, stands on a bluff above the railroad station where the faithful dog held vigil for the return of his long-dead master for 5 1/2 years. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    It was also home to Shep. 

    He was a mangy dog that started hanging around the train station below this same bluff in 1936. It took a few years for someone to figure out why – Shep’s sheepherding master left the station in a casket.

    The dog’s vigil for the next 5 1/2 years made headlines and caught the attention of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” The story became downright heartbreaking when, on a cold January morning like this in 1942, an aging Shep didn’t hear old 235 roll into the station. The nation tuned in for, and old-timers still remember, the massive funeral. For the past 20 years, a Bob Scriver bronze has memorialized Shep on the bank of the river.

    See more of the Missoulian’s series here.

    Read more about Montana all year long by subscribing today.

    Jenna

  • Montana Magazine hires new editor

    Jenna CederbergMontana Magazine publisher Jim McGowan recently announced that Montana Magazine has hired a new editor.

    Jenna Cederberg began as editor of Montana Magazine in November.

    A Montana native, Cederberg grew up in the South Hills of Missoula. She was previously the Missoulian’s business reporter.

    Cederberg received a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Washington State University in 2007 and was editor of the Lake County Leader in Polson before joining the Missoulian in 2010.

    “I grew up reading Montana Magazine,” she said. “It is an extreme honor to be involved in the proud tradition of telling the state’s stories and sharing the amazing photos taken all across the Last Best Place with our subscribers around the globe. I can’t wait to get started.”

    Cederberg’s selection is a part of a relocation process for Montana Magazine, which is now headquartered in Missoula.

    “We are excited to have the opportunity to continue the great tradition of Montana Magazine from Missoula,” said McGowan, publisher of the Missoulian and Montana Magazine. “I am thrilled to provide Montana Magazine’s readers with Jenna, as she brings the ideal mix of content development experience, community engagement and passion for telling the stories that are Montana.”

    Read the rest of the story here.