Volunteers in Fort Benton were busy last week as they are in the process of reconstructing the historic Keelboat Mandan.
The Fort Benton Community Improvement Association aimed to restore the keelboat that has long been sitting on Front Street overlooking the Missouri River.
The keelboat appeared in the 1952 film “The Big Sky,” playing a starring role set in the fur trade era.
Kirby Matthew, a retired worker from The Forest Service who also worked as the Historic Preservation Specialist, stated, “It kind of has a fascinating history to it. It was constructed in 1950 as a movie prop for ‘The Big Sky,’ and then it came to Fort Benton in, I believe, 1964, and it’s been sitting here as kind of a little landmark in Fort Benton for about 60 years now, and it’s about 70 years old, so it’s old enough to qualify for the national register.”
You can read the rest of this fascinating story here.
You can also view a keelboat inside the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls. KRTV Great Falls