Filed Under Haugan

Savenac Nursery Historic District

Creation of the National Forest Service in 1905 brought Elers Koch, one of the nation’s first professional foresters, to inspect and evaluate the Forest Reserves of Montana and Wyoming. Appointed Forest Supervisor of the Bitterroot and Lolo National Forests in 1907, Koch happened upon the abandoned homestead of a German settler named Savennach. He thought it a perfect spot to establish a tree nursery. Work began in 1908 and just as the first pine seedlings were ready for transplanting in 1910, fire swept through the region scorching 3 million acres of timberland. The nursery was destroyed, but the disaster influenced Forest Service policy, making fire prevention and conservation its primary mission. Reforestation of burned and logged areas figured prominently in that goal. Savenac Nursery was ideally situated along two railroad routes and the historic Mullan Road ran right through the property. The nursery was immediately rebuilt. Circa 1912 national road improvements incorporated the new Yellowstone Trail into this segment of the Mullan Road and by 1916, Savenac shipped several million seedlings to the vast Northern Region. The Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt and modernized the facility a final time between 1932 and 1948. Savenac became the largest tree nursery in the northwest producing up to twelve million trees annually. The nursery operated until regional reorganization brought closure in 1969. Savenac Nursery, where much of the theory and practice of silviculture was pioneered, reflects the conservation ethic of the Forest Service.

Images

Savenac Nursery Historic District
Savenac Nursery Historic District Ranger Station at the Savenac Nursery near Haugan, Montana. Source: Montana History Portal Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: Unknown
Savenac Nursery Historic District
Savenac Nursery Historic District Savenac Nursery Historic District. Front view of the Administration Building, facing north from the property grounds. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Timothy Light Date: 1998
Savenac Nursery Historic District
Savenac Nursery Historic District Savenac Nursery Historic District. Overview of the district, facing south to southeast on the property grounds with the East Residence and Garage in the background, and to the right in the photograph features the Administration Building (ramp included). Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Timothy Light Date: 1998
Savenac Nursery Historic District
Savenac Nursery Historic District Savenac Nursery Historic District. View of the sign at the entry gates of the district, facing east to northeast to show the U.S. Forest Service sign that welcomes guests from near and far (property in the Lolo National Forest). Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Timothy Light Date: 1998
Savenac Nursery
Savenac Nursery Photo of house facade. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Tom Ferris, Photographer Date: 9 October, 2022
Savenac Nursery
Savenac Nursery Photo of house from across river. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Tom Ferris, Photographer Date: 9 October, 2022
Savenac Nursery
Savenac Nursery Photo of exterior details on property. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Tom Ferris, Photographer Date: 9 October, 2022

Location

Haugan, Montana | Public

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Savenac Nursery Historic District,” Historic Montana, accessed April 15, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/916.