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CAMERON


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    Photo courtesy: Bill Kuney

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Cameron was named for the pioneering Cameron family. The settlement was originally known as Bear Creek. Addison Bovey Cameron and his brother James took up desert claims here in 1886. Addison Cameron had the first post office in his home from 1890 to 1893. Later he and his wife, Josie, had a store and post office on the ground floor of a building and a dance or community hall on the upper floor. In 1919 the Cameron store building was purchased by Frank Falbaum, who moved it six miles down the road to take advantage of the highway business generated by tourists traveling between Ennis and Yellowstone National Park. This angered Bear Creek settlers, and for years none of them would trade at the Cameron store.

The ranchers who now use the post office as headquarters have rich hay and pasture lands spreading up to the foot of Sphinx Mountain (elev. 10,860 ft.). The mountain was officially named by geologists because of a supposed resemblance to the Great Sphinx of Giza, but natives affectionately call it "Old Red" because of the beautiful red rock cliffs that glisten in the sunset. (from Cheney’s Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest covers the area to both the east and west of Cameron. This is the largest of the national forests in Montana, and covering 3.32 million acres in eight southwestern Montana counties. Offering breathtaking scenery for a wide variety of recreational pursuits, including camping, fishing, picnicking, or even wilderness trekking in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area.

Also near Cameron, the Bear Creek Wildlife Management Area provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including elk, mule deer, black bears, grizzlies, mountain grouse, and many others. Here you can enjoy hunting and wildlife viewing. In addition to those animals named above, sandhill cranes, raptors, songbirds and numerous small mammals can be found through much of the year. Bear Creek Wildlife Management Area is located in Madison County, 5 miles east of Cameron at the base of the west face of the Madison Range. From the small community of Cameron, turn east on the county road and follow the signs to the entrance.




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