The Boulder Valley becomes known far and wide as a home-seekers' paradise. Thither came W.F. McLeod from Oregon, driving a here of 125 cattle and 200 horses. W.F. McLeod was recognized as the first permanent homesteader in the valley. During the next tow years, 1883-84, other permanent settler were Charles Cottle, G.W. Baker, B.E. Fowler, A.S. Flowers and Thomas Hawley. The latter settler assisted in the discovery of many of the valuable mineral deposits when they were yet in the domain of the Crow Indians.
An irrigation canal stimulated settlement in the valley and resulted in the establishment of the McLeod Post Office on June 11, 1886, with E.E. Fowler as Postmaster. Billie Bilbro carried the mail horseback from Big Timber.
Nine votes were case in the Boulder's first election in 1884. During the spring of 1886 the first school election was held and a district organized. The following spring the first school started with five children.
Mining interest was again revived in the the chrome era and considerable work was done. It is reported that one o the largest chrome deposits in the U.S. extends from the Main Boudler to the Mouat and Benbow mines on the Stillwater. Uranium also caused some interest and many clamis were located. By the summer of 1957, the operations of U.S. Steel was the hub of interest with the report that a mill was to be built at the head of the Stillwater and a road built from the Main Boulder to Iron Mountain. Currently, Stillwater Mining Company (http://www.stillwatermining.com/) operates mines on the Stillwater above Nye and at the head of the East Boulder. Primary minerals mined are platinum and palladium with traces of gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper.
The East and West Boulder Rivers join the Main Boulder about 17 miles south of Big Timber after flowing through green and fertile valleys. On the upper East Boulder, John Anderson, a pioneer homesteader of the area, built a stone hotel, bathhouse and pool. The pool pulled in piping hot water from a natural mineral spring. The spring was considered government property and Anderson therefore obtained a 99-year least to operate the Anderson Lithia Springs Hotel. The Lithia Springs resort had numerous renters and the land various owners, but never returned to its hey-day. Very little remains today as a reminder of days past.
Among the many offerings of the Boulder River Valley, hunting and fishing are very popular. Scenes of characters fly-fishing in the movie "The River Runs Through" were filmed on the upper Main Boulder River. Robert Redford returned to the Main Boulder River Valley in 1996 and 1997 to film the movie "The Horse Whisperer." Scenes from the ranch setting were filmed no more than a few minutes drive from McLeod.
Hunters traverse the national forest in search of moose, elk, bear, and an occasional Big Horn sheep or mountain goat. Valley pastures and mountain meadows offer summer range for cattle and sheep.
Winter snows support rugged mountain snowmobiling. Although much of the national forest is included in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, 25 mils of groomed trail on the Main Boulder road provide access to open play areas about the Independence mines.
Remember to ask permission before entering private lands. Our property is surrounded on all sides by private land.
Please keep pets on a leash at all times. A bucket and shovel may be obtained at the Post Office for keeping the area clean.
Most of all, leave your worries behind and enjoy you stay at McLeod.