Filed Under Anaconda

Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District

Copper king Marcus Daly built a racetrack outside Anaconda in 1888 to promote his passion for horse racing. The racetrack not only offered recreational opportunities, it also established the first equine activities in Anaconda’s WestValley. Although modern housing obliterated Daly’s racetrack in the early twentieth century, its legacy endured. The non-profit Anaconda Saddle Club, founded in 1944 during World War II, was an extension of the tradition Daly brought to the valley. The club fostered the community’s enthusiasm for horses and horsemanship at a time when resources were scarce. In 1945 the group purchased thirty acres of land and Martin Nelson and Charles Nicely volunteered as architects. Almost every evening and on Sundays during 1945 and 1946, the 160 club members worked on the construction of the oval racetrack, arena, numerous barns, and other buildings. Completion of the Rustic style complex was a great achievement by an all-volunteer work force. A huge crowd attended the public opening on September 22, 1946. The unique octagonal clubhouse, log caretaker’s house, frame buildings with weatherboard siding, and complementary log fences and corrals reflect a style unusual for the postwar period. The log building methods mirror those employed in the Anaconda Company’s logging camps in the Seeley-Swan area and FlatheadValley. The club’s log buildings also provide a visual connection to the Rustic dude ranches of an earlier era. The club continues its careful stewardship of equine traditions in this superb setting, offering an excellent venue for local and regional events.

Images

Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Entry Gate with Barn #6 and Clubhouse in background, facing north. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Front to side view of the residence and garage, facing northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Front to side view of the Clubhouse, facing north to northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. View of Barn #1, facing northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Front view of the Carport and Blacksmith Shop, facing southeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Front to side view of Barn #5, facing southeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Overview of the Grandstands and Rodeo Grounds, facing northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Front view of Shed #1 and the Round Corral, facing east. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Front view of the Blacksmith Shop, facing southwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Front to side view of Barn #3, facing northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Front to side view of Barn #4, facing northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004
Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District. Front to side view of Barn #6, facing northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Allan Mathews Date: Dec. 2004

Location

2704 Montana Highway 1 West, Anaconda, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Anaconda Saddle Club Historic District,” Historic Montana, accessed February 4, 2023, https://historicmt.org/items/show/309.