Filed Under Ovando

Monture Guard Station Historic District

Critics of rapid industrialization at the end of the nineteenth century worried about its effects on natural resources and the American character, giving rise to the modern conservation movement. In response, Congress passed the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, which set aside forest land for the public’s benefit. In 1905, the Department of the Interior transferred this land to the newly created U.S. Forest Service. Rangers established a presence in the Monture Creek drainage as early as 1906. Land disputes with the Anaconda Company in 1918 prompted district leaders to move from the Shoup Lake area to the present location. In 1920, Seeley Lake District Ranger Walt Robb began supervising construction of a new residence. As the station’s mission evolved, crews added corrals and pasture, root cellars, a pump house, cistern, and powder house. Following Forest Service protocol, they used log construction in the Rustic style to complement the natural environment. The guard station served as a staging point for wildland firefighters and provided logistical support to a network of backcountry lookouts. Crews based at the guard station built and maintained an extensive trail network throughout the adjacent forest. As a result, the property serves as a recreational gateway to the nearby Bob Marshall and Scapegoat wildernesses. Beginning in 2002, volunteers collaborated with the ranger district to restore the station and, by 2006, the Forest Service made it available to the public as a recreation rental. This historic gem stands as a testament to the many ways the Forest Service serves the public interest in the Northern Rockies.

Images

Monture Guard Station Historic District
Monture Guard Station Historic District Exterior NE view, original residence. Source: Western Cultural, Inc., Missoula, MT Creator: Daniel Hall. Date: 5/12/22
Monture Guard Station Historic District
Monture Guard Station Historic District Exterior barn, NE view. Source: Western Cultural, Inc., Missoula, MT Creator: Daniel Hall Date: 5/12/22
Monture Guard Station Historic District
Monture Guard Station Historic District SW view, pumphouse. Source: Western Cultural, Inc. Creator: Daniel Hall Date: 5/12/22
Monture Guard Station Historic District
Monture Guard Station Historic District W facing view of farrier's platform. Source: Western Cultural Inc., Missoula, MT Creator: Daniel Hall Date: 5/12/22
Monture Guard Station Historic District
Monture Guard Station Historic District Historic corrals, facing south. Source: Western Cultural, Inc., Missoula, MT Creator: Daniel Hall Date: 5/12/22
Monture Guard Station Historic District
Monture Guard Station Historic District Original residence under construction, circa 1920. Source: National Museum of Forest Service History Creator: National Forest Service Date: 1920

Metadata

Montana Historical Society, “Monture Guard Station Historic District,” Historic Montana, accessed April 14, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/3506.