Billings, Little Big Horn, and the Montana Plains: Places to Explore

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Miles City

History buffs enjoy the ranch town of Miles City (population 8,120), at the confluence of the cottonwood-lined Tongue and Yellowstone rivers. The federal Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 stated that this land would be "Indian country as long as the grass is green and the sky is blue." The government reneged on its promise only six years later, when gold was found in the Black Hills of South Dakota to the southeast. White settlers streamed into the area, setting in motion events that led to the Battle of the Little Bighorn. After the battle the army built a new post less than 2 mi from where Miles City would be founded. In time the ranchers took over, and in 1884 the last of the great herds of bison was slaughtered near here to make room for cattle. Ranching has been a way of life ever since.

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