Taft, Montana

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Taft is a ghost town in Mineral County, Montana, United States. Located in the Bitterroot Range near the Idaho border along the route of the Mullan Road, it was a thriving railroad town c. 1908, named after William H. Taft (before he became president of the US in 1908) after he visited the nameless town in 1907.

The town was founded when The Milwaukee Road built its Pacific Coast expansion and had to bore an 8,300-foot (2,500 m) tunnel through the mountains near its site.[1]

Taft burned to the ground on August 20, 1910, during "The Big Burn" - a wildfire fed by Palouser winds, and was not rebuilt. (see "The Big Burn" by Timothy Egan. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 2009.)

Today on Interstate 90 the site is noted by Exit 5, marked Taft Area. The area hosts a maintenance yard for the Montana Department of Transportation, access to the Hiawatha Trail, and access to St. Regis (Sohon)/Mullan Pass vía Randolph Creek Road, which heads north and west from I-90.


  1. ^ Description of Taft in 1939 from MTlinks.com

Coordinates: 47°25′09″N 115°35′54″W / 47.41917°N 115.59833°W / 47.41917; -115.59833