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Near Babb in Glacier County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Motoring In

Glacier National Park

 
 
Motoring In Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 8, 2015
1. Motoring In Marker
Inscription.  … there should be erected at once at every camp, good, substantial, permanent buildings of one, two, three and four rooms for just the 'forgotten man'… There should also be constructed at every camp a building for a restaurant or cafeteria where meals may be obtained at a reasonable price.
The Kalispell Times
October 6, 1932

In the late 1920s, the automobile became affordable for the "Forgotten Man." For the first time, a middle-class American family could see the country without the expense of a railroad trip. Upon completion of Going-to-the-Sun Road in 1932 and Theodore Roosevelt Highway (now US-2) two years earlier, Glacier National Park beckoned a new type of "road-trip" traveler, signaling an end to an era of opulence and the beginning of affordable recreation.

To meet the needs of motorists, the Many Glacier Road was extended a mile west from the Many Glacier Hotel, and the Great Northern Railway was asked to build the Swiftcurrent Auto Camp. It consisted of a campstore and 54 small, spartan cabins arranged in tepee configurations. The camp's location was unobtrusive to its natural setting — a significant
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departure from the design of the park's earlier grand hotels. The camp was immediately popular with the middle-class. The use of automobiles ultimately resulted in a decline of railway travel and an increase in park visitation by the independent motorist.

[background image caption]
Gear and 1931 Model A Ford generously provided by John Lawyer of Plains, Montana.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasRoads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1932.
 
Location. 48° 47.861′ N, 113° 40.638′ W. Marker is near Babb, Montana, in Glacier County. Marker can be reached from Many Glacier Road (Route 3) 12˝ miles west of U.S. 89, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located within Glacier National Park, at the west end of Many Glacier Road, in front of the historic Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Babb MT 59411, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Overnight in the Wilderness (approx. 0.9 miles away); When the Glaciers Melt (approx. one mile away); Choosing a Route (approx. 6.3 miles away); Stephen Tyng Mather
Marker detail: Cabin Circle image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Cabin Circle
Cabin circle at Swiftcurrent Auto Camp, early 1930s.
Camp construction took place 1933 to 1940.
(approx. 7.3 miles away); Horns (approx. 7.3 miles away); Historic Boats (approx. 15˝ miles away); Time Machines (approx. 15˝ miles away); Wilderness Architecture (approx. 15˝ miles away).
 
Regarding Motoring In. Swiftcurrent Auto Camp Historic District, National Register of Historic Places #95001578.
 
Also see . . .  Swiftcurrent Auto Camp Historic District (Wikipedia). In contrast to the prominent site of the nearby Many Glacier Hotel, the auto camp is located in stands of mature trees that block direct views of the surrounding mountains. The facilities were intended to provide an inexpensive, informal alternative to the hotels that had heretofore provided the bulk of tourist accommodations. The camp was built by the Glacier Park Hotel Company, under pressure from the National Park Service to provide such accommodations. (Submitted on February 20, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Motoring In Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 8, 2015
3. Motoring In Marker
(Swiftcurrent Motor Inn in background)
Swiftcurrent Motor Inn image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 8, 2015
4. Swiftcurrent Motor Inn
Swiftcurrent Motor Inn • Front Desk image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 8, 2015
5. Swiftcurrent Motor Inn • Front Desk
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 20, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 265 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 20, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 25, 2024