Well today I was reading the Montana Post dated July 29, 1865. The article talked about the camels being in Virginia City. I then did a little more research and discovered Mary Ronan had ridden one when she was a girl. ( Girl from the Gulches: The Story of Mary Ronan by Ellen Baumler ).
The Bactrian camels made up the camel trains that hauled freight between the mining camps from 1865-1866. The camels were well adapted to the Montana terrain and climate. So why weren't they used longer? They didn't have good social skills. The mules and oxen wouldn't go near them. Passing was out of the question.
I not only learned about this nugget of information but I learned that fossilized remains of the Camelops hesternus are still found in Montana. This animal made it's home in the Montana Lowlands before the ice-age. Interestingly enough it is theorized that our modern day camels may have evolved from their Montana ancestors.
The Montana story of the camels comes full circle. Al Deutsch owns a herd of Bactrian camels. The herd lives outside of Fairfield, Montana off highway 89. I want to go see them.
I should take my camel saddle to school. I wonder if my students would know what it is?