Big Prairie—beautiful, rugged, and remote—nestles between the North Fork of the Flathead River and timbered foothills. Even today the area is accessible only via an unimproved 1901 wagon road. Johnnie (John J.) Walsh first came to Big Prairie…

Constructed in 1939, the bunkhouse now known as the Boys Dorm has an L-shaped plan with a small porch marking the entrance. Small gables interrupt the roofline, bringing light into the interior. The one-story cross-gable building provided housing…

In 1930, three years after building the Ranger’s House, the Forest Service constructed this one-and-one-half-story, shingle-clad building. First used as a warehouse, it features a high gambrel roof and a screened-in single-story entrance porch.…

In 1917-18, the Forest Service recognized the Big Creek Ranger Station as the “most important secondary protection station site in the Lower North Fork district.” Ten years later, the Forest Service reinforced the designation by building this…

A torturous journey by covered wagon brought Frank and Ella Wurtz to this remote homestead in 1914. By 1917, the family included three children, so Frank built a larger cabin, reusing the logs of their first one-room dwelling. Proving a claim in the…

Rugged outdoorsman and adventurist Andrew Vance came to Montana from Iowa in 1880 and found work in the Yellowstone Valley hunting buffalo to feed Northern Pacific Railroad crews. In the ensuing decades, Andy guided Yellowstone Park visitors and…