Pompeys Pillar – Unique Places In North America

Who or what is Pompey’s Pillar?

A large sandstone rock structure, Pompeys Pillar, is 150 feet (45 meters) tall. It is the third site in the state and is situated in Yellowstone County, Montana.

It received national monument designation in January 2001. It is one of the smallest National Monuments, at just 51 acres. The United States Bureau of Land Management oversees the location (BLM).

What Makes Pompey’s Pillar Special?

During their illustrious voyage, Williams Clark (1770-1838) and Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) decided to part ways on July 3, 1806. They did not reunite until they arrived at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. On July 25, a little more than two weeks later, Clark saw Pompey’s Pillar.

As he ascended the pillar, Clark saw that it offered a wide-ranging perspective of the surroundings. He also mentioned the rock’s Indian pictographs. Before leaving, Clark inscribed his name and the date July 25, 1806, on the sandstone building.

The inscription is, therefore, the last piece of tangible evidence discovered along the famous path of Lewis and Clark’s voyage.

After Sacagawea’s (1788–1812) little son Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (1805–66), whom he had given the moniker Pomp, he dubbed the rock Pompy’s Tower. Pompey Pillar, however, became the name of the structure in the 1814 first edition of The History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The Site’s Tourism

The location’s main attraction is Clark’s signature, which had to be re-engraved several times owing to weather-related deterioration. To be shielded from the weather, it is, nevertheless, contained beneath Plexiglas.

The Interpretive Center for Pompey Pillar National Monument debuted in 2006. This facility has displays that describe the trip that Sacagawea, Clark, and the rest of their detachment traveled through the Yellowstone River Valley.

Additionally, it emphasizes the local Native American culture, the local flora, and the background of Pompey’s Pillar.

With so many paths to stroll along and take in the scenery around the Yellowstone River, the location is also fantastic for those who enjoy the outdoors.

The park is home to many bird species so bird lovers will enjoy it. Additionally, there are several tables around the monument where tourists can stop and dine.

Neighborhoods Near Pompey’s Pillar

The longest free-flowing river in the contiguous United States, the Yellowstone River, is overshadowed by Pompey Pillar.

Vireos, warblers, and other bird species call the cottonwood and willow trees that abound along its banks home. Prairies, where falcons, pheasants, and other animals may be found, are direct to the south.

Site-Related Threats

One of the main challenges to the monument is erosion from wind, rain, and snow, which endangers Clark’s signature and the Indian pictographs, and the actual sandstone structure of Pompey’s Pillar.

The fluvial possibilities are raising further erosion worries for BLM about the site to the Yellowstone River. Last but not least, there’s a danger that, as has already occurred, visitors may vandalize the building by cutting into the stone.

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