Frank Bird Linderman House

Sixteen-year-old Frank Linderman left Chicago to experience the Flathead Valley wilderness in 1885. Six years later, Linderman had established friendship with the Indians and viewed encroaching civilization firsthand. Thus began Linderman’s passionate desire “…to preserve the old West, especially Montana, in printer’s ink.” Trapper, trader, assayer, newspaperman, businessman, insurance agent, and twice-elected state legislator, Linderman was an advocate of Indian causes. Through his efforts, along with Paris Gibson, Charley Russell and other friends, Congress created the Rocky Boy’s Reservation for landless members of several Chippewa and Cree bands. Native American leaders respected Linderman’s active support and through “sign talk” shared their histories, customs, and stories. In 1917, Linderman returned with his family to the wilderness. He built this spacious cabin of native tamarack logs with the help of two French Canadian loggers and a team of horses. Here, amongst treasured artifacts bestowed by Indian friends, Linderman authored many highly acclaimed books, stories, and articles, among them the biographies Plenty Coups and Red Mother. His accurate portrayals led Crow chief Plenty Coups to conclude, “I am glad I have told you these things, Sign Talker. You have felt my heart, and I have felt yours.” A catastrophic fire in 1919 destroyed the surrounding forest, but left the Linderman home untouched. Today, the sturdy cabin remains and the forest has grown again, as if in tribute to this extraordinary man who so loved Montana’s wilderness and the native people it once nurtured.

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Restricted Access, Lake, Montana ~ Private