The western-most Stillwater County community of Reed Point is likely one of the smallest towns along I-90 and the Yellowstone River. The picturesque setting gives it a feeling of serenity, peacefulness and quiet. Access to the Yellowstone River is at the Indian Fort Fishing Access north of town. With a boat ramp and campground, it’s a haven for fishermen, river floaters or just a great spot for a leisurely swim. Reed Point is a stop on the annual Yellowstone River Boar Float and comes alive every year on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend for their annual “Great Montana Sheep Drive”.
Past and Present
Present day Reed Point was originally a part of the Crow Indian Reservation. It all began in 1891, when an agreement with the Crows was enacted by Congress in which the Crows ceded a large portion of reservation land. When the land was opened for settlement, homesteaders began arriving from Norway, Sweden, Germany and our own Midwest. By 1912, Reed Point had a bridge over the Yellowstone, a railroad depot, post office, general store and a one room log schoolhouse. By 1918, Reed Point had grown from four farms to a population of three hundred. One hundred thousand acres of land were being homesteaded.
The original Farmers and Occident Elevators housed the many varieties of grain grown in bountiful quantities. Thousands of sheep were raised and carloads of cattle and hogs were routinely shipped to market in Chicago.
A year after the bridge was built across the Yellowstone River, the Yellowstone Trail Association was being organized. The eight hundred miles through the very southern part of Montana was the heart of the Yellowstone Trail Movement. According to the Trail Guide, it was “the most comfortable long summer drive known to man, the climate most embracing, hotel and garage accommodations unexcelled, water always near for your engine and delightful scenery.” The roads were built where there was the least topographic resistance, crossing the Yellowstone River seven times. After crossing the bridge at Reed Point, the Trail followed the terrain six miles north of town, around the hills and back south coming out near Springtime. Though I-90 now runs cleanly through the valley, remnants of the original wandering road are still visible from the Interstate.
Reed Point’s annual “Great Montana Sheep Drive” has become a local tradition. Residents warmly welcome everyone for a wild and wooly time. Bring your sense of humor, enjoy the parade, carnival games, dozens of food and craft vendors and an early evening street dance. It will be a memorable time for the whole family.