Why the Name Big Timber
When Lewis and Clark traveled through this region they named the area were the Boulder River and Big Timber Creek empty into the Yellowstone River “Rivers Across”. In the late 1800s, an Irish immigrant named the settlement Dornix, from the Gaelic word “durnog” meaning “a rock that fits in the hand and is handy for throwing.” In 1883, the town was moved due to complications with the railroad and was re-named Big Timber for its abundance of cottonwood trees lining the banks of the nearby Boulder and Yellowstone Rivers. In fact, a majestic 125-foot-tall cottonwood that would take three men to wrap their arms around the trunk of is located on the banks of the Yellowstone River right outside the city limits and was close to being the national champion cottonwood. Today, 200-year-old cottonwood trees still line the banks of the Yellowstone River meaning they are the same trees as the ones Lewis and Clark passed by two centuries ago.