Our History | Sacajawea Hotel

Sacajawea Hotel History


THREE FORKS, Montana-Located in the heart of the Big Sky State, and the Headwaters of the Missouri, is the home of the historic Sacajawea Hotel. The hotel has been the gem of this small Montana community and continues to be an important symbol of Montana history. The 1910 building has withstood the test of time, and has recently been preserved to its vibrant origins. The renovation was completed just in time to celebrate the hotel’s 100-year anniversary.

History is Happening Here:

The Sacajawea Hotel is a grand place nestled into one of the most important places in the history of Lewis and Clark. Three Forks, the Headwaters to the Missouri River, is the place where Sacajawea was reunited with her brother and afforded the Lewis and Clark Party the opportunity to continue their journey by providing goods and safe passage through hostile territory. Long after Lewis and Clark were gone and the west was being settled, the town of Three Forks emerged as an important stop on the Milwaukee Railroad.  At the turn of the 20th century.

In 1910 a purchasing agent for the Milwaukee Railroad named John Q. Adams, built the hotel as a rest stop for passengers and train crews on the railroad that ran from Wisconsin to the Pacific. The core of the hotel is the old Madison House, which was built in 1882 in Old Town Three Forks, closer to the headwaters. John Q. Adams ordered a contractor to drag that building into New Town Three Forks by a horse team. Local legend has it that the construction of the hotel was held up when the contractor  lost his horse team in a poker game. The Madison House eventually made it and was split in two, and Bozeman architect Fred Wilson designed the rest of the hotel around those two halves.

From the early 20th century to the 21st, the Sacajawea Hotel has weathered economic hardships, snow, and many different owners, trying to bring life back to the old hotel. In 2001, the Sacajawea was closed, boarded up, and sad. However, recently the Sacajawea Hotel has been brought back to life with a top to bottom renovation. The Folkvord Family, a three generational farming family in the valley, purchased the hotel in 2009. The Family had high hopes of restoring the amazing building to its fine grandeur of the 1900’s, combined with modern amenities, reviving the hotel to her original glory. The renovation took 8 months, and now proudly boasts 29 luxury guest rooms with spa like amenities, two full service bars, meeting space, wedding venues, and Montana’s finest new steakhouse, “Pompey’s Grill”. The Sacajawea Hotel is rapidly gaining a reputation as “one of the finest historic hotels in the west”. Nominated as the only Montana property to join as a member of the Historical Hotels of America, as well as receiving the 2011 Historic Preservation Award of Excellence. Elegant and tasteful furnishings combined with the friendliest staff to be found in Montana, the experience at The Sacajawea Hotel is one not to be forgotten.