“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Greenough in Missoula County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Big Blackfoot Railroad

Big Blackfoot Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 20, 2019
1. Big Blackfoot Railroad Marker
Inscription.  Railroad logging was an important facet of the history of Montana's lumber industry. The Big Blackfoot Railroad was one of several logging railroads created to sustain the Anaconda Copper Mining Company's sawmill at Bonner. Built by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific (Milwaukee Road) Railroad between 1911 and 1936, the line was used almost exclusively by the Anaconda Company.
The company acquired 625,000 acres of timber in the Blackfoot River Valley in 1904 to provide lumber and cord wood for its mining and smelting operations in Butte and Anaconda. For twenty-eight years, the company harvested approximately 40 million board feet of lumber annually from its property in the valley - making the Anaconda Company the largest timber producer in Montana.
This section of railroad grade was constructed in 1934. By the early 1940's however, economic depression, war and increasing use of trucks to haul lumber caused a sharp decline in the logging industry in the valley.
Although the Anaconda Company ceased logging operations in the Blackfoot Valley in 1949, the line was not abandoned until 1978. Since the line was never intended
Big Blackfoot Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 20, 2019
2. Big Blackfoot Railroad Marker
to be permanent and was often relocated to take advantage of new timber stands, the track was frequently place directly on the ground without the benefit of ballast or any significant grading. Portions of the old railroad can be seen adjacent to the highway to the south.
Erected by Montana Department of Transportation.
Location. 47° 0.349′ N, 113° 21.606′ W. Marker is in Greenough, Montana, in Missoula County. Marker is on State Highway 200 at milepost 32 near State Road 83, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 44676 Montana Highway 200, Bonner MT 59823, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Souvenirs of the Ice Age (approx. half a mile away); Big Blackfoot Milling Company (approx. half a mile away); A Vast Network of Indigenous Trails. (approx. half a mile away); Ghost Town Byway (approx. 9 miles away); Historic Logging Shaped These Woods (approx. 10.3 miles away); Sand Park Cemetery (approx. 12 miles away).
More about this marker. The marker is east of the Clearwater Rest Stop on Montana Highway 200.
Also see . . .  Big Blackfoot Railway (Milwaukee Road) -- John Speller's Web Page. The line originally ran from Bonners Landing, Montana, on the Blackfoot River, about 40 miles to a point 10 miles east of Ovando, Montana on the Clearwater
Blackfoot Junciion image. Click for full size.
3. Blackfoot Junciion
River. Logs floated down the Clearwater River would be milled and transferred to the Blackfoot River and hence shipped out to the copper mines at Anaconda.
(Submitted on January 2, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
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More. Search the internet for Big Blackfoot Railroad.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 13, 2020. This page originally submitted on January 2, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 2, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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