Moose Lake Camp Historic District

Moose Lake Camp Historic District

Nestled along the shore of Moose Lake, this collection of log and frame buildings is a fine example of how early mining ventures in the region gradually evolved into the U.S. Forest Service’s recreational residence program during the early- to mid-twentieth century. Among the first prospectors attracted to the area was mining promoter/artist Julian Itter, who filed several claims in the nearby Frog Pond Mining District. In 1918 Itter hired Martin “Moose” Johnson, a legendary local mountain man, to build a round-log cabin overlooking the lake. In 1924 Itter sold all his holdings to mining entrepreneur Leslie L. Savage, who convinced Inglis M. Uppercu, a wealthy New York businessman, to invest in his mining operations. Savage added a cookhouse, two sleeping cabins, a barn, and an icehouse/woodshed. Savage also received a recreational residence permit in 1928 under the Term Occupancy Act of 1915 that granted permits for private construction of summer homes on national forests. Both families enjoyed many happy summers at the lake until the mines failed during the Depression. Savage was forced to put the property up for sale. There were no buyers for several years, and the buildings fell into disrepair. Joseph Lyden bought and improved the cabins in 1945. Subsequent owners Elizabeth C. and John C. Hauck and later Tom and Jane Van Dyk carefully preserved and maintained the buildings and structures, which retain considerable integrity of design, function, and workmanship. The district illustrates the transformation from mining to recreation in an unspoiled setting in southwestern Montana.

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Moose Lake Residential Site, Lots 4 and 5, Block B, Philipsburg, Montana ~ Private