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Black Butte Station

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring Sioux Nation Forts

Picture of Black Butte Station

The Black Butte station, fourteen miles to the west of Big Pond, was named for a large black colored butte about five miles to the west of the station. This swing station was also located along Bitter Creek. At this point along the creek, the water was so tainted with alkali that oatmeal was added by the station cook to hide the taste.

It was near this station that emigrants discovered that coal found in this area was able to be burned in their camp fires. Today the land that the Black Butte ruins are found upon is owned by the Black Butte Coal Company, an open pit mining operation. They have erected a fence around the ruins, and will conduct a guided tour.

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