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Section 6

All Montana Area Codes are 406

out into a rash to be going west.

They packed their prairie schooners with their household goods, gods, and garden tools. Outside of Indians, prairie fires, cholera, famine, cyclones, cloud bursts, quick sand, snow slides, and blizzards they had a tolerably blithe and gay trip.

When gold was found in Montana some of them forked off from the main highway and surged along this trail aiming to reach the rainbow’s end. It was mostly one-way traffic but if they did meet a backtracking out- fit there was plenty of room to turn out.

31. Food

Dell This town took its name from the topography of the surrounding area. It was once a station on the Union Pacific and was a trading center for valley ranchers. Not much there today except for one of the quirkiest little cafes you’ll find anywhere. The Calf-A and Yesterday’s Museum appear at first glance to be an old brick building with a junk shed next door. Don’t turn away, the diner serves over 30,000 meals a year to people from all over the world. The diner is housed in the old school- house with high ceilings and bare pine floors. Memorabilia lines the walls, the menu is written on the old blackboard, and the salad is on the teachers desk. The museum next door isn’t your run-of-the-mill gallery either. It is a warehouse of everything left behind when the mining and lum- bering petered out. The original owner, Ken Berthelson, is now deceased. Before going he left a number of wildlife sculptures in an outdoor sculpture corral. No, these aren’t the magnificent bronze sculptures that seem to dominate Montana. They are created from just about any- thing Ken could put his hands on. There are lots of fine cafes in Montana, but not too many that you’ll take pictures of for the folks back home.

32. Food, Lodging

Lima This hamlet sits close to the Idaho border on the Red Rock River. Like many towns in Montana, it has gone through several name changes. First Allerdice, then Spring Hill. The name that stuck

It Happened in Montana

January 11, 1864. A band of Vigilantes hangs Dutch John Wagner in Bannack from the beam of a building. Not finished with their work for the day, they proceed to the cabin of a man they call Mexican Frank. Two of the vigilantes storm through the cabin door but are shot and manage to scramble to safety. The Chief Justice of the Idaho Territory, Sidney Edgarton, lends them a small howitzer and shells. The men fire three of the shells into the cabin collapsing the structure. The Vigilantes find the suspect trapped under a beam. They tie a clothesline around his neck and hoist him to a pole before firing more than a hun- dred shots into the strangling man. They then create a bonfire from the remains of the cabin and throw the corpse on the pyre. Unfortunately, Mexican Frank was not home that day. The unfortunate victim was a man named Joe Pizanthia. He was not on their list of suspected road agents. Rather than admit the screwup, the Vigilantes spread the rumor that Pizanthia was “one of the most danger- ous men that ever infested our frontier.”


was Lima, named after the Lima, Wisconsin hometown of settler Henry Thompson.


Monida Monida gets its name from its proximity to the Montana-Idaho border. Monida was once an impor- tant stop on the old Utah & Northern narrow-gauge railway which ran from Salt Lake City to Butte and Garrison. It was also a stage stop for the Monida- Yellowstone Park stagecoaches that met the trains.


the Valley as a summer hunting area. Mountain men, trappers, cowboys, and settlers all left their mark on this remote corner of Montana. It was in this Valley and in Yellowstone National Park, that the last remaining trumpeter swans in the conti- nental United States found refuge from the plume hunters of the early 1900s.

Today, The Centennial Valley is known for its abundant wildlife, scenic beauty, primitive landscape, and secluded tranquility. The 45,000-acre Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is an integral part of the Valley and helps to maintain a balance between human needs and the needs of wildlife.

H Sawtell’s Ranch Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge


In 1868, Gilman Sawtell started a dude ranch and Henry’s Lake fishery that did much to develop this nat- ural resort area.

Sawtell did everthing from supplying swans for New York’s Central Park zoo to building a network of roads for tourist access to Yellowstone National Park. His commercial fishery served Montana mining mar- kets. His pioneer Henry’s Lake ranch was a major attraction here for a decade before rail service brought more settlers to this area.

H The Shambo Stagecoach Station

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

The historic Shambo waystation was once located on the opposite side of Shambo Pond. The station served as a livery and overnight stop for the M & Y stage line (Monida and Yellowstone) which acted as a link between the railhead at Monida, Montana and Yellowstone National Park The original outfit consisted of twelve 11-passenger and four 3-passenger Concord coaches with eighty horses and forty employees in 1898.

By 1915 the line brought In over forty percent of the more than twenty thousand people who entered Yellowstone National Park. In that year the “Red Line” was operating forty-five 11-passenger four-horse coaches; eight 11-passenger four-horse stages; thirteen 3-passenger two-horse surries; and sixty-one 5-passen- ger two-horse surries.

It was a big-time operation. The M & Y Line sold three different excursion trips from Monida through the park with either a return to Monida or to and exit from another gateway. It took one day to get from Monida to Dwell’s, a ranch-hotel near the western boundary of the park—a distance of approximately 70 miles.

The Shambo family managed this station and were among the earliest settlers in the Centennial Valley. This pond and immediate area still carry their name.

T Red Rock Lakes National

Wildlife Refuge 85 mi SE of Dillon. 276-3536

The Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is one of more than 500 National Wildlife Refuges across the United States. The Refuge was estab- lished in 1935 for the protection of trumpeter swans and other wildlife. Visitors to the Refuge will find a wildlife watcher’s paradise. Trumpeter swans, bald, eagles, peregrine falcons, moose, elk, sandhill cranes, and a number of other species are often seen. Much of the Refuge lies within a 32,350-acre wilderness area that provides addi- tional protection and habitat. The Refuge has been designated as a National Natural Landmark, recognizing its significance as one of the best remaining examples of the geologic and biologic character of our Nation’s landscape.

For centuries, the Centennial Valley has been rich in fish and wildlife resources. Indians favored

Highlands The Highlands offer several opportunities for sce- nic drives accessing the Highland Lookout and Humbug Spires. One drive provides a scenic loop which winds through the Highlands and Burton Park and ends at the Feeley interchange on Interstate 15. From Butte take Montana Highway 2 south eight miles to Roosevelt Drive (Forest Service Road #84). Follow the road for 19 miles to Interstate 15. The drive provides scenic vistas of the Highland Mountains and meadows with opportunities to view moose, elk and deer throughout the drive. To return to Butte from the Feeley interchange, take I-15 north to Interstate 90 and continue east to Butte four miles. This drive will take approximately one and a half to two hours to complete and will accommodate two-wheel drive vehicles during the summer.

Delmoe Lake From Whitehall, head west on Interstate 90 to the Pipestone exit just below Homestake Pass and continue north on Forest Service Road #222. The road will take you through sagebrush grasslands, into the timber, provide spectacular mountain vis- tas, and then return to Interstate 90 at Homestake pass 20 miles later. Approximately ten miles from Pipestone is Delmoe Lake campground and picnic area. Delmoe Lake has the same oblong rounded boulder landforms that you see along Homestake Pass. It also has fishing opportunities and a boat ramp (no docking facility). The drive will take you approximately one and half to two hours to complete and is maintained for two-wheel drive vehicles during the summer.

South Boulder, Tobacco Roots This drive will take you up into a scenic canyon with high peaks, alpine meadows and lakes. From Whitehall, head east on Interstate 90 to the Cardwell exit where you will take Montana Highway 359 south approximately six miles to the South Boulder turnoff, heading southwest. The road turns into Forest Service Road #107 and continues for approximately 14 miles pass- ing through the old mining town of Mammoth. The road will lead into the canyon through sev- eral dispersed recreation areas which are popular for picnicking. At the upper end of the canyon there are opportunities to park and take short hikes to several alpine lakes. The road can be rough. The first 13 miles can be traveled in a passenger car, but high clearance or 4-wheel drive is recommended beyond. The road is gen- erally open from mid May to mid September depending on snow conditions. Reprinted from U.S. Forest Service information handout.

Red Rocks Lake Wildlife Refuge Tour At one time, only a handful of the beautiful and graceful trumpeter swans remained in the Montana-

Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia

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