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Fort Benton opens Visitor Center for the summer

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Grand Union hotel in Fort Benton
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Posted at 9:22 AM, May 27, 2024

FORT BENTON — The historic town of Fort Benton is excited to share its history with visitors this summer as it opens up the visitor center for the season.

“It’s the most beautiful place in the state,” claims Cynthia Lenington, who runs the Fort Benton Visitor Center.

Fort Benton was founded in 1846 and is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Montana.

Its nearly 180-year history can be felt in its architecture, its people, and even its visitors.

“We do get a lot of people who have ancestral ties,” Lenington said, “It’s really amazing.”

Lenington has been running the visitor center for four years. With her, the center is staffed with volunteers who share their love of the little town.

“Everybody has a two hour shift a day,” Lenington said, “... And so if you do Monday, 10 to 12, you do Monday 10 to 12 from Memorial Day to Labor Day.”

Anyone who is interested in volunteering can stop by the center to learn more. This summer, Lenington is expecting more than 2000 people to visit “The Birthplace of Montana”.

If you are considering stopping by, Lenington has a plethora of suggestions on how to make the most of your visit, from the walking bridge over the Missouri River, fishing and ferrying the river, or joining in the fun of the Summer Celebration in June.

“But just walking the downtown area if you're only going to be here for a little bit,” Lenington suggested, “Great stores, great local shopping, great places to eat.”

If you do visit Fort Benton, make sure to stop by the visitor center on Front Street right next to the walking bridge, and don’t forget to sign the guest book.