Prehistory

Dating back some 66 million years, the Dearborn Ranch has beckoned hunters and explorers alike from the Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops to Lewis and Clark.

For more than 10,000 years until 1855, the Blackfeet and their ancestors claimed the region, when by treaty, their reservation was established in northwest Montana. Artifacts, buffalo jumps, and prehistoric pictographs testify to the early nomadic peoples who took their sustenance from the plentiful game that ranged here then, and now.

Between 1805 and 1806, Merriweather Lewis and William Clark, twice traversed this area with the Corps of Discovery, naming the “considerable river . . . about 80 yards wide” in honor of Secretary of War, Henry Dearborn.

In 1864, legendary 19th Century financier and cattleman Daniel A.G. Flowerree, arrived in Montana and soon began importing cattle from Texas and buying land, including the Broken O Ranch and Rock Creek ranches. Flowerree built the ranch into one of the larger spreads in the region –13,022 acres when it was sold in 1910 to Jack Burke and Charles Benton Power.

Power operated the ranch until 1947 when he sold to Brian O’Connell, who in turn sold the property in 1959—by then 55,000 deed acres—to D. Michael Curran, a Butte, Montana native, and oil pipeline company owner. Curran founded the Dearborn Ranch Co., which he owned almost half a century until 1998, when it transferred to the current owner.

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