With the wild history of Montana, you don't have to go too far to find a haunted house, hotel or town.  How about a haunted bridge?  Montana has that too, but it's a bit of a drive.  Let me tell you the story of Snowden Bridge from Beautiful Badlands ND

Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

Snowden Bridge

Not too far from the border between Montana and North Dakota was a town called Mondak.  The life of the town was from 1903 to 1919.  It's known that North Dakotans would cross the Snowden Bridge into Mondak, Montana to buy liquor.

In 1913, JC Collins joined the construction crew that was building the Snowden Bridge.  He was known as a hard worker, but also as a troublemaker in the area.  Collins shared a shack with one of the other men of color, Neal Clay.  Clay eventually sold the shack, and the day the new owners were moving in, Collins didn't want to move out.  The new owners wife (also a person of color) was adamant about Collins moving, and he eventually punched her in the face numerous times after calling her "uppity". The woman's husband went to the sheriff, and the man hunt was on.

The sheriff went to the construction office to arrest Collins, and Collins came out from behind the door and ended up shooting and killing the Sheriff in the office and shooting the deputy who died later of his wounds.

Collins ran into the woods, and an angry mob wasn't far behind.  Eventually they caught up with Collins, hog tied him and brought him to the Mondak jail.  Before long, people from all over town, especially the saloon, surrounded the jail and demanded that Collins be turned over for their revenge for the slain Sherriff.  After a few hours, people even started arriving from Medicine Lake. It wasn't long until the deputy turned Collins over to the mob.

The mob dragged and beat Collins in front of the jail and throughout the town.  Eventually they lynched Collins on a telephone pole.  Then the men shot at him after he was dead.  When it all died down, they went back to the bar, leaving Collins hanging from the telephone pole. Someone returned to the body and doused it with kerosene and started it on fire.

Later that night, the coroner and another deputy took the body to the jail to be stored for burial.  When they returned the next morning, the body was gone.  Legend states the murders took the body and dragged it to the river and threw the body onto a large piece of ice to "send it back South".

To this day, there isn't one person or family who will admit to having family involved in the lynching.

The Legend

Now, in March and April, people around the region will talk about seeing something big popping up from the Missouri, then disappear.  Others say they see an object float to the shore and then disappear.

Now you know the story of Montana's haunted bridge, the Snowden Bridge.  Know any other good Montana legends that you want to learn more about?  Hit me up and let me know here.

Looking for more haunted Montana?

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