Bunkhouses

Big Creek Ranger Station Historic District

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 for seasonal fire and Civilian Conservation Corps crews assigned to the Big Creek station. In 1966, the Forest Service chose Big Creek as an intra-regional fire-fighting headquarters. To accommodate the expanded crews, it relocated a second bunkhouse now the Girls Dorm from the Coram Ranger Station near Hungry Horse. That bunkhouse, also originally built in 1939, looks much the same as the original bunkhouse except for the placement of its front door. Both buildings were based on standard plans provided by Region One’s central office. The plans specified frame construction, with the use of logs for structural support, and sawed cedar shingle siding. In the 1980s, interregional crews in Boise, Idaho, and elsewhere eclipsed the need for remote stations like Big Creek, and the station closed. The buildings went unused until 1989, when the Forest Service authorized the Glacier Institute to house youth education programs.

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North Fork Road, Polebridge, Montana ~ Private