Filed Under Olney

Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District

The Stillwater Forest and its ranger station mark a milestone in the history of state forestry. The Enabling Act of 1889 laid a tenuous foundation for today’s system by granting Montana two sections of land in every township, stipulating that the income generated must be used for education. It soon became apparent that effective management of 500,000 widely scattered acres was impossible. The Office of the State Forester, created in 1909, advocated consolidation of state holdings as the solution. In 1912, the State Forester proposed to swap the Forest Service 60,000 acres of state-owned sections for a like amount here in the Whitefish and Stillwater drainages. President Woodrow Wilson approved the exchange in 1918. Stillwater became Montana’s first state forest. Through the efforts of State Forester Robert McLaughlin, the first log structure at Stillwater Ranger Station was built in 1922. At McLaughlin’s urging, the 1925 legislature designated the Stillwater Forest a managed site. After 40,000 timbered acres burned in 1926, the Stillwater Ranger Station became a year-round facility for timber management and fire protection and was the only major ranger station in the state system until 1954. Ranger Pete De Groat built the main log residence in 1928, and CCC forestry crews added several more buildings in the 1930s. Maurice Cusick, supervisor from 1936 to 1967, built four others. Today, these historic log buildings constructed of local materials are a tribute to Montana’s early forestry and conservation efforts.

Images

Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Main Office and Sleeping Quarters, facing northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Bunkhouse, facing southwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Main Residence, facing northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Carpentry Shop, facing northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Oil House and Gas Pump, facing northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Fire Cache, facing northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Garage and Wood Shelter, facing north. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Mess Hall, facing southwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Bath House, facing northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Warehouse and Shop, facing northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District
Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District. Front to side view of the Main Residence, facing northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: John Westenberg Date: June 1980

Location

Highway 93, Olney, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Stillwater Ranger Station Historic District,” Historic Montana, accessed June 17, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/521.