The historic Fort Owen Montana State Park at Stevensville will get some TLC this Saturday, May 21. The local group "Friends of Fort Owen" will be working with staff from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to get the site in prime shape for summer's tourist season.

The fort underwent a general upgrade in the last couple of years, which repaired walls of the remaining barracks (photo above) and increased the parking lot to allow limited RV parking.

Saturday, the local volunteers (you could be one of them) will meet at 11 a.m. and help with weeding, sweeping, washing windows and other light work. All you need to bring is a pair of gloves.

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Lunch will be provided at noon and the group's members, along with State Park staff, will talk about recent archeological finds and research on the adobe blocks that were used to build the barracks back in the 1800s.

The small park, on the northern outskirts of Stevensville, is open through October 31st from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and is closed during the winter. Day use entrance fee with a vehicle is $8. If you walk in from Stevensville or ride a bike or are on a bus, it's $4. Of course, if you included the Montana State Parks fee when you registered your car, admission is free.

The fort was built by Major John Owen, starting in 1850. It was not a military fort, but a general trading post near St. Mary's Mission, which is also a great place to visit in Stevensville.

If you want to do a little housekeeping Saturday at the fort and find out about more events this year, call Margaret at 406 552-2072 or check the Friends of the Fort website for more information.

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