James Patrick McCrossin, a Canadian immigrant, constructed this two-room cabin in 1908. McCrossin harvested and peeled western larch, generally less than a foot in diameter, before notching and assembling the hand-hewn logs. He then filled the large gaps between logs with slender, hand-cut rails and mortar. Atypically, the roof, supported by extra rafters, extends eight feet past the cabin walls on both gable ends to create sheltered, functional outdoor space. Unusual for a rustic cabin is the interior molding and trim, likely manufactured at a local mill. James, who worked as a teamster, farmer, and road worker, lived here with wife Ethel until circa 1912. The second of the couple’s six children was born while they were in residence. There was no electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing and the family likely hauled water from the nearby creek for drinking, washing, and cooking. Built during the apple boom, the cabin stands in contrast to the roomier Craftsman style houses being constructed at the same time in nearby Hamilton. It stands in even greater contrast to the opulent Daly Mansion being remodeled just seven miles north of the cabin. After the McCrossins moved out circa 1912, newlyweds, small families, and other short-term residents followed. In 1945 Sam and Alice Foss purchased the land, which was adjacent to acreage they already owned. Hired hands periodically lived in the cabin over the next fifteen years. The cabin is among the few remaining hand-built log structures used as temporary residences by Montana’s rural families in search of a better tomorrow.

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1237 Highway 93 S, Hamilton, MT ~ private