Reed's Fort (2)
Reed's Fort (2) (1880-1888) - A private trading post/post office established in 1880 in present-day Lewistown, Fergus County, Montana. Named Reed's Fort after "Major" Alonzo S. Reed the first proprietor and postmaster. Abandoned in 1888.
Established in present-day Lewistown, Montana in 1880. Reed's Fort was a private trading post built by "Major" Alonzo S. Reed on a homestead claim he filed in 1880. (Note: Reed was not known to have been an actual Army major).
Also in 1880, Francis Janeaux, a leading Metis figure and licensed trader, also established a trading post about a mile away at the corner of Third Avenue North and Broadway in present-day Lewistown.
By the end of 1880 the area that is now Lewistown was divided into two enclaves, Janeaux's Post and Reed's Fort. The combined settlements had a population of about 300 residents, according to U.S. Census records and the two trading posts were in direct competition.
On his homestead claim, Reed had built a cabin, trading store, and post office. The post office was skillfully built by Mose LaTray, a Metis carpenter. LaTroy squared the logs used for the walls and joined the four walls at the corners with clean steeple or V-notches that resulted in tighter walls that required less chinking and insulation.
His post office officially opened on 6 Jan 1881 and was known as Reed's Fort Post Office with Reed as postmaster. In 1882 Major Reed resigned as postmaster and Frank Day replaced him. The original trading post/ post office structure still survives, located in a city park below the mouth of Casino Creek.
By 1888 the post office structure was abandoned.
The original Post Office structure survives and is located at 301 Casino Creek Dr, Lewistown. The surviving structure appears to differ from period pictures in that it now appears smaller and configured differently.
Visited: 20 Jul 2022, 14 Jul 2019