Filed Under Place

Beavertown Historic District

Beavertown’s remaining buildings and two-track section of toll road offer a rare glimpse of an early Montana stage station turned cattle ranch. Prior to Euro-American settlement, Blackfeet, Shoshone, Nez Perce, and Crow Indians routinely passed through the area, which lies in a transportation corridor used for millennia. Although discovery of precious metals west of Beavertown in 1864 prompted early development, its location on the Prickly Pear and Virginia City toll road (built in 1865), made Beavertown an ideal stage station. Rufus and Mary Emerson built the two-room log station and horse barn in 1865. They offered food and lodging for passengers and changed horses for the stagecoach drivers. Owners Alex and Nellie Lux likely added the wood-frame hotel/residence after 1877. Michael and Ann O’Connell operated the station from 1879 until 1902. By 1890, completion of the Helena, Boulder Valley, and Butte railroad, and later the Montana Central, led to the closure of the stage line. Norwegian immigrants Martin and Jeannette Broen purchased the property in 1902. Martin worked at the concentrator near Corbin and Jeannette cared for their six children and raised angora goats. Martin died in a mill accident in 1904, and Jeannette sold the property to Swedish immigrants Frank and Hedvig Erickson in May 1905. The Ericksons raised cattle and subsistence farmed. They improved the property, adding a root cellar, blacksmith shop, and granary. By 1920, they had patented 160 acres to the south and grazed forty to fifty cattle. Frank died in 1937 followed by Hedvig in 1948.

Images

Beavertown Historic District Overview. View to the Southwest Source: Jon Axline and John Boughton Creator: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Date: November 2021
Beavertown Historic District Stage Station. View to the Northeast Source: Jon Axline and John Boughton Creator: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Date: November 2021
Beavertown Historic District Hotel/Residence Source: Jon Axline and John Boughton Creator: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Date: November 2021
Beavertown Historic District Horse Barn. View to the West Source: Jon Axline and John Boughton Creator: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Date: November 2021
Beavertown Historic District Granary. View to the Southwest Source: Jon Axline and John Boughton Creator: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Date: November 2021
Beavertown Prickly Pear and Virginia City Wagon Road. View to the South. Source: Jon Axline and John Boughton Creator: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Date: November 2021

Metadata

Montana Historical Society, “Beavertown Historic District,” Historic Montana, accessed February 4, 2023, https://historicmt.org/items/show/3443.