Filed Under Bozeman

Flaming Arrow Lodge

Breathtaking scenery forms the backdrop for this majestic mountain lodge, built by Indianapolis businessman Arthur L. McKinney on the site of a great Sioux-Nez Perce battle. In 1934, McKinney purchased this land with the intent to build a summer family business. Drawing upon Montana’s growing “dude ranch” enterprises, his idea was to establish a boys’ camp, theater colony, and school for the arts. Walter Diteman, formerly of the 7-Up dude ranch near Lincoln, signed on as supervisor. The project was a boon to the local economy, providing jobs for 75 men. Under Diteman’s capable direction, workers with horse teams fought the primitive road to the non-mechanized building site, and the McKinneys’ rough sketches began to take form. By the spring of 1935 the lodge, ten cabins, a theater seating 1,000, and a private residence stood ready. Further plans for the camp came to a halt when Arthur McKinney died in May. The existing facilities opened the following Thanksgiving to winter sports (which initially included a spectacular ski jump inside the theater), an unplanned use that later expanded. During the 1940s and 1950s, Evan and Erwin Lachenmaier ran a year-round dude ranch here. The home was eventually sold separately and from 1956 to the mid-1970s, the lodge served something of its original purpose as a Boy Scout camp. Today the Flaming Arrow Lodge, named after the ceremony of truce that supposedly ended the legendary battle, remains a masterpiece of Western Rustic architecture and a hospitable cornerstone of this historic recreational area.

Images

Flaming Arrow Lodge Flaming Arrow Lodge. Front to side view of the lodge, facing northwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Ken and Ellen Sievert Date: Jan. 1994
Flaming Arrow Lodge Flaming Arrow Lodge. Front to side view of the lodge, facing northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Ken and Ellen Sievert Date: Jan. 1994
Flaming Arrow Lodge Flaming Arrow Lodge. Front to side view of the lodge, facing north. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Ken and Ellen Sievert Date: Jan. 1994
Flaming Arrow Lodge Flaming Arrow Lodge. Rear view of the lodge, facing south. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Ken and Ellen Sievert Date: Jan. 1994
Flaming Arrow Lodge Flaming Arrow Lodge. Side view of the lodge. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Ken and Ellen Sievert Date: Jan. 1994

Location

15521 Bridger Canyon Road, Bozeman, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Flaming Arrow Lodge,” Historic Montana, accessed February 4, 2023, https://historicmt.org/items/show/583.