The Big Blackfoot Railway

73
https://www.ultimatemontana.com/media/com_jbusinessdirectory/pictures/companies/339/cropped-1563482215.png

Missoula ,Missoula Area

Map Location

Categories:
Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric Sites
Keywords:
General info

Location: East of Missoula

The Blackfoot River has been a transportation corridor for hundreds of years, first serving Indian travelers, then later fur trappers, miners, and loggers. The first large-scale timber cutting started in 1885 when the Big Blackfoot Milling Co. located at Bonner. The mill’s principal customer was Butte copper magnate, Marcus Daly. The expanding mines created an insatiable appetite for lumber, and in 1898 Daly’s Anaconda Copper Mining Co. bought the mill.

The mill started the Big Blackfoot Railway to move timber from outlying cuts to the river. The main line ran from Greenough to McNamara Landing which was on the river about five miles north of here. Logs were skidded by horses to temporary branch lines, then transferred to the main line for the trip to the river. At high water, the logs were floated down to Bonner. Once an area was cleared of timber, the temporary rail lines would be moved to the next cut

The Milwaukee Railroad acquired the Big Blackfoot Railway as a branch line about 1910 and the trains ran until 1916 when logging ceased for ten years. Both resumed in 1926, but the railway’s years were numbered. Logging trucks came on the scene in the 1920s and by 1948 had dominated the industry. Hauling by rail had ended by 1957. Trucks also eliminated the need for logging camps, so most of the small communities disappeared too.

One of the locomotives, specially geared for rough track and steep grades, can be seen in the Bonner park.

About Us

Our mission is to provide the most comprehensive information site for the state of Montana. We welcome public input and comments.

Contact

1627 W. Main #447
Bozeman, MT 59715

Contact Us

Created with love by New Times Media Corporation

We're New Times Media - a friendly and fun group of people. At New Times Media we love to share anything and everything we know about the great state of Montana, so we created this site to make learning about our state as easy as possible. Our site is free to use and has the simplest possible user interface.

Privacy policy:

We use Google Analytics for site usage analytics. Your IP address is saved on our web server, but it's not associated with any personally identifiable information. We want you to enjoy and benefit from our site without worrying about who is tracking you (OK, so Google might track you, but that’s not us!)

Terms of service: the legal stuff

By using our site you agree to our Terms of service. TLDR: You don't need an account to use our site. Our site is free of charge and you can use it as much as you want. You need an account if you wish to list your business or control your business information. You can't do illegal or shady things with a business listing on our site. We may block your access to your page(s), if we find out you're doing something bad. Share anything you see, but don’t use our stuff for your own use without permission from us. We’re not liable for your actions and we offer no warranty. We may revise our terms at any time.