Cantonment Stevens (1853-1854) - A U.S. Army Cantonment established by 2nd Lieutenant John Mullan, (Cullum 1550), 1st U.S. Artillery, in 1853 near present day Stevensville, Ravalli County, Montana. Named Cantonment Stevens after Territorial Governor Isaac I. Stevens, (Cullum 986), of Washington who headed the expedition that established the Cantonment. Abandoned in 1854.
History of Cantonment Stevens
Established in 1853 by 2nd Lieutenant John Mullan and a detachment of regular soldiers during the exploration and survey of possible railroad routes from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean headed by Territorial Governor Isaac I. Stevens of Washington. Governor Stevens later wrote in glowing terms of Lt. Mullans exploits and leadership in the official report, including the description of the establishment of Cantonment Stevens:
"On the 8th of October, 1853, he (Lt. Mullan) established his camp ten miles above Fort Owen, at a point where there was excellent grass, wood, and water, and where, in consequence of its being a little removed from the Indian camps, he could better regulate the intercourse of his men with them; and in November, not withstanding his trip in the meantime to the Jefferson Fork of the Missouri, he succeeded in getting into a state of forwardness the erection of four log buildings for the accommodation of his party, one being a storehouse. Leaving a portion of his party behind to continue the work, he started for Fort Hall, and on his return found the buildings ready for his reception. This was all done by the labor of his own party, the only additional expense being the hire of some oxen to haul logs, and the purchase of hardware, not exceeding in all twenty-five dollars. There was a corral attached for animals. To this post he gave the name of Cantonment Stevens."
Cantonment Stevens was abandoned sometime in 1854. Lt. Mullan departed the expedition on 28 Feb 1855 for other duties but returned later as construction superintendent of the Mullan Wagon Road from Fort Walla Walla, Washington, to Fort Benton, Montana between 1860 and 1863.
No remains and no markers found.
Visited: Area 21 Jul 2015