Emigrant Area History
Where A River Runs Through It was filmed
The area is rich in western lore. Many of the families who settled the area still hold ranches in this part of the valley. This was still a very wild place in the late nineteenth century, and was considered Indian territory: the Crow tribe laid claim to the land. In the late 1860s, gold was discovered at Emigrant Gulch, which precipitated many conflicts as people sought their fortunes. The Boettler brothers were among the first to attempt to mine the goldfields and settle in the valley. After a few skirmishes with the Crows, they established one of the first ranches in the valley, at Emigrant. The Battle of the Little Big Horn opened this area for settlement when the Crow tribe was relocated. The 1870s saw many ranches springing up throughout the valley, many of which still belong to the founding families.
Within 5 miles of our B&B is Emigrant Gulch. A party of emigrants who had traveled with a wagon train across the plains via the Bozeman or Bonanza Trail arrived in this gulch on August 28, 1864. Two days later three of these men explored the upper and more inaccessible portion of the gulch and struck good pay. A mining boom followed. When cold weather froze the sluices, the miners moved down to the valley, built cabins and Yellowstone City began its brief career. Provisions were scarce that winter. Flour sold for $28 per 96 lb. sack, while smoking tobacco was literally worth its weight in gold. The strike was not a famous one, but snug stakes rewarded many of the pioneers for their energy and hardships.