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

Whitefish in Flathead County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Great Northern Railway Passenger and Freight Depot and Division Office

 
 
Great Northern Railway Passenger and Freight Depot and Division Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 21, 2020
1. Great Northern Railway Passenger and Freight Depot and Division Office Marker
Inscription.  Whitefish served as a division point for the Great Northern Railway from its founding in 1904 until 1955. In 1925, one railroader called it “the most distinctively railroad town on the whole Great Northern system.” The second floor of this 1928 Tudor style building, designed by railroad architect Thomas McMahon, housed the railway’s division offices. Serving as a hub for passenger and freight transportation, the first floor housed the yard office, freight and baggage rooms, warm room, ticket office, general waiting room, telegraph office, men’s smoking room, and ladies’ rest room. Competition from automobiles and trucks had already begun to decrease railroad traffic, so not many depots were built in the 1920s, the height of Tudor popularity; thus Tudor style depots are rare. This depot’s Tudor features include its high pointed roof, stucco and decorative half timbering above clapboard, and multiple groups of tall, narrow windows. Its decoratively carved brackets and rafter tails and second-floor balconies echo similar detailing at Glacier National Park chalets, visually connecting Whitefish to Glacier, a tourist destination widely
Great Northern Railway Passenger and Freight Depot image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 21, 2020
2. Great Northern Railway Passenger and Freight Depot
promoted by the railroad. In the 1980s, Whitefish preservationists worked to preserve this magnificent building, which still serves as a passenger and freight depot. Railroad depots are one of the few types of buildings for which the back (facing the town) is as important as the front (facing the tracks). The stylish façades on both front and back of the Whitefish Depot continue to welcome travelers and reflect the town’s railroad history.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable BuildingsRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 48° 24.81′ N, 114° 20.142′ W. Marker is in Whitefish, Montana, in Flathead County. Marker is on Depot Street near Spokane Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 Depot Street, Whitefish MT 59937, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Whitefish Depot (a few steps from this marker); The Bruck (within shouting distance of this marker); Cadillac Hotel (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Casey's Bar (about 800 feet away); Palace Bar (approx. 0.2
Great Northern Railway Passenger and Freight Depot image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 21, 2020
3. Great Northern Railway Passenger and Freight Depot
miles away); Hori Cafe Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pastime Pool Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Robinson Building (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Whitefish.
 
Great Northern Railway Passenger and Freight Depot image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 21, 2020
4. Great Northern Railway Passenger and Freight Depot
Front of Depot, viewed from an arriving train image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, August 1, 2017
5. Front of Depot, viewed from an arriving train
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 13, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   5. submitted on November 15, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.
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Nov. 24, 2020