History

The Three Forks area marks one of the most significant points along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Here at the headwaters of the Missouri River, Sacajawea was reunited with her brother and brokered safe passage for the explorers. Following on the heels of this epic American tale, the Sacajawea Hotel was constructed in 1910.

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Mr. John Q. Adams, a purchasing agent for the Milwaukee Railroad, built the hotel as a rest stop for passengers and train crews. The heart of the hotel is the Madison House, a private residence which was built in the old quarter of Three Forks in 1882. Mr. Adams hired a contractor to move the house to the new hotel site. Halfway through the relocation, the contractor — a bit of a gambler — lost his horse team in a poker game. After sitting in a bog for a season, Madison House was finally delivered to its current location. Bozeman architect Fred Wilson designed the remainder of the building, which today stands in stately white-clapboard elegance.

Through the 20th and into the 21st century the Hotel weathered many hardships. In 2001, the Sacajawea was boarded up. However, in 2009, the Folkvords, a third-generation Montana farming family, purchased the Hotel. The family held the goal of restoring the structure to its original grandeur. Over eight months, they accomplished just that.

Today, the Sacajawea Hotel boasts 29 luxury guest rooms, two full-service bars, meeting space, wedding venues and Montana’s finest steakhouse, Pompey’s Grill. The Hotel has quickly garnered the reputation of “one of the finest historic hotels in the West.” Nominated as the only Montana property to join as a member of Historic Hotels of America and receiving the 2011 Historic Preservation Award of Excellence, the Sacajawea Hotel is open year-round to Montanans and visitors from afar who wish to experience its rich ambience and friendly staff.