Montanans in Motion
Transportation has played a central role in the history of Montana. For centuries, nomadic First Peoples traveled from camp to camp, relying on dogs and, later, horses, to haul their possessions. By the early nineteenth century, Euro-Americans began arriving by horseback, steamboat, and wagon, setting in motion changes that would forever alter life under the Big Sky. In the 1870s railroads made the frontier even more accessible, providing safer and shorter passage from more populous parts of the country. Subsequently, in the twentieth century automobiles connected even the smallest, most remote communities to the rest of the state and the nation. All of these advances in transportation were accompanied by dramatic changes in the economy and culture of Montana and Montanans' daily life.