The Steamboat Montana and the Opening of the West: History, Excavation, and Architecture
The Montana was a shining example of modern design and technological sophistication when it made its maiden voyage in 1879. But it is remembered for its ironic end: only five years after it was launched, the Montana struck a railroad bridge near Bridgeton, Missouri, and sank. One of the largest stern-wheel vessels ever to navigate a western river, the Montana was built to compete with railroads. The recent archaeological excavation of its wreckage, combined with a wealth of written and visual material documenting its construction and use, offers fascinating insights into a little-known aspect of Western expansion.