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American explorers Lewis & Clark reached the reach in 1805 on the way to the Pacific Ocean, and returned in 1806, but the area had been previously visited by European traders as much as 100 years earlier. French traders and fur trappers likely made their way through the area in the early 18 th century, but it wasn’t until gold was discovered that resulted in the Bozeman Trail bringing tens of thousands of settlers westward.
Among these was John Bozeman, a Georgian looking for gold in the region, who started a trail that broke off from the more famous Oregon Trail. Interstate 90 now follows the path of the old Bozeman Trail. The town of Bozeman was founded in August of 1864, and it became the county seat for Gallatin County in 1867. The town was the site of cattle drives, and the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1883 through what is now known as Bozeman Pass. In 1893 the Agricultural College of the State of Montana was founded, and it would later become Montana College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts before becoming Montana State College, and later Montana State University, as it is known today.
Located near Yellowstone National Park, the city of Bozeman today is a small town with plenty of nearby attractions for visitors any of time of the year.