Filed Under Essex

Izaak Walton Inn

The Izaak Walton Inn symbolizes the difficulty of keeping the United States’ northernmost transcontinental railroad open during Rocky Mountain winters. Each winter, sixty Great Northern Railway workers were stationed here to clear the rails of snow between Essex and East Glacier. Originally, their days of fighting snow and frequent avalanches ended with a return to abandoned railcars and wall tents, for Essex had only 150 permanent residents and nowhere for the workers to board. After numerous petitions, the Great Northern built this twenty-nine-bedroom structure in 1939, on its standard pattern for a division hotel. Railroad policy called for only a section house at a location other than division point, but the difficult winter maintenance of Marias Pass required changing the rule. The railroad also realized that the hostelry could serve summertime tourists, when fewer railhands needed lodging. Naming it for the renowned English fisherman underlined their intended double use. This Craftsman-style inn has been in continuous use since its construction and, to this day, serves both railroad workers and tourists.

Images

Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn Essex, Montana, Flathead County Looking east across Burlington Northern RR to front of hotel Gail Atkinson, photographer Negative filed at Izaak Walton Inn 8/7/83 24FH233 (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Gail Atkinson Date: August 7, 1983
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn Essex, Montana, Flathead County Back of hotel, facing east Gail Atkinson, photographer Negative stored at Izaak Walton Inn 8/7/83 24FH233 (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Gail Atkinson Date: August 7, 1983
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn Essex, Montana, Flathead County East end of hotel, looking south Gail Atkinson, photographer Negative filed at Izaak Walton Inn 8/7/83 24FH233 (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Gail Atkinson Date: August 7, 1983
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn Essex, Montana, Flathead County Lobby of hotel, looking west. Gail Atkinson, photographer. Negative filed at Izaak Walton Inn 8/7/83 24FH233 (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Gail Atkinson Date: August 7, 1983
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn Essex, Montana, Flathead County Looking into dining room (east) -- detail of Great Northern insignia in stained glass Gail Atkinson, photographer Negative filed at Izaak Walton Inn 8/7/83 24FH233 (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Gail Atkinson Date: August 7, 1983
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn Essex, Montana, Flathead County Western half of hotel basement looking west. Gail Atkinson, photographer Negative filed at Izaak Walton Inn 8/7/83 24FH233 (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Gail Atkinson Date: August 7, 1983
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn. Front view of the building, facing east near the train tracks. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Joe Furshong Date: June-Aug. 2019
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn. Front to side view of the building, facing northeast near Izaak Walton Inn Road. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Joe Furshong Date: June-Aug. 2019
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn, front view of the "old hotel", facing southeast toward the small community of Essex, Montana; digital photograph taken in mid-morning. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: July 2019
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn, front/side view of the "old hotel", facing northeast towards Glacier National Park and the Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) railroad shops nearby; digital photograph, taken in mid-morning. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: July 2019
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn. Side to rear view of the building, facing northwest from the Izaak Walton Inn Road leading up from Highway 2 in Essex. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Joe Furshong Date: June-Aug. 2019
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn. Rear view of the building, facing west from the parking lot off of Izaak Walton Inn Road. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Joe Furshong Date: June-Aug. 2019
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn, rear view of the "old hotel" presenting the sign text "Izaak Walton Hotel", facing west toward the railroad tracks supporting the Amtrak (Empire Builder) and commercial freight from Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) just beyond the hotel; digital photograph taken in late evening. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: June 2019
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn, rear/side view of the "old hotel", facing northwest in the parking lot of the hotel; digital photograph taken in late evening. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: June 2019
Izaak Walton Inn
Izaak Walton Inn Izaak Walton Inn, front/side view of hotel from the nose of the Empire Builder that was in service between the years of 1955-1971 and is now a part of the luxurious stay at the Izaak Walton Inn, facing north towards Glacier National Park; digital photograph, taken in mid-morning. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: July 2019

Location

Off U.S. 2 adjacent to railroad, Essex, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Izaak Walton Inn,” Historic Montana, accessed April 15, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/63.