Chief Plenty Coups statue.

Gas Station Indian Monument

Field review by the editors.

Crow Agency, Montana

Crow Agency is an oasis of Native American pride. Just off the interstate exit, on the short drive up to the site of Custer's Last Stand, you'll spot an unexpected monument. It's a wooden carved statue of Chief Plenty Coups, and it stands next to a teepee at a Crow Agency gas station. Chief Plenty Coups (1848-1932) was the "Last Chief of the Crows."

Between refueling and relieving, read the plaque, which says in part: "Plagued with the loss of the great buffalo herds, the confinement to reservations, disease, famine, and poverty, Chief Plenty Coups let the Crow people through a painful transition." He "developed into a nationally respected statesman and patriot." Chief Plenty Coups' painted likeness is tall and narrow. He holds a feather -- there's not a tomahawk or scalp in sight.

After paying your respects, you can either head to the Little Bighorn battle site or the Little Bighorn Casino -- another Indian victory.

Update 2017: The Chief Plenty Coups statue seems to have succumbed to age and weather. Its faded and fissured remnants are on the ground at the station.

Gas Station Indian Monument

Frontage Rd, Crow Agency, MT
I-90 exit 510, northwest side.
2017: statue down, plaque/pedestal still there. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Little Big Horn SouvenirsLittle Big Horn Souvenirs, Crow Agency, MT - < 1 mi.
Custer's Last Stand: Little Big HornCuster's Last Stand: Little Big Horn, Crow Agency, MT - 1 mi.
Custer Battlefield Museum and Tomb of Unknown SoldierCuster Battlefield Museum and Tomb of Unknown Soldier, Garryowen, MT - 4 mi.
In the region:
Swimming Pool Shark, Sheridan, WY - 60 mi.

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August 3, 2020

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