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

Hungry Horse Clearing Ball

 
 
Hungry Horse Clearing Ball Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 2, 2013
1. Hungry Horse Clearing Ball Marker
Inscription.
This ingenious 4.5 ton, 8-foot diameter ball was used in 1950 for clearing operations on 6,207 acres in the Hungry Horse Reservoir. Two contractors, S.L. (Red) Wixson, and John H. Trisdale, developed it.

The ball was dragged at the end of cables by two large tractors. The height of the ball kept chains and cables free of stumps. The result was that clearing was as fast as a man could walk, men were safe from falling trees, and clearing costs were reduced.

Plaques donated by Anaconda Aluminum Company

Flathead National Forest
United States Department of Agriculture
 
Location. 48° 23.131′ N, 114° 3.772′ W. Marker is in Hungry Horse, Montana, in Flathead County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 2 and Main Street, on the right when traveling east on U.S. 2. Touch for map. Marker is located in a small plaza between Main Street and Mountain Drive. Marker is atop a short concrete pedestal beside the subject 8-foot ball. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8859 U.S. Highway 2 East, Hungry Horse MT 59919, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Legend of Hungry Horse (a few steps from this marker); Surrounded by Wilderness
Hungry Horse Clearing Ball (<b><i>east side view</b></i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 2, 2013
2. Hungry Horse Clearing Ball (east side view)

The connecting segment for one of two heavy chains used to drag the clearing ball is visible on the left side of the ball.
(approx. 1.8 miles away); Bad Rock Canyon (approx. 1.9 miles away).
 
More about this marker. The marker is engraved on a metal placard that is worn and weathered, making it somewhat difficult to read.
 
Also see . . .
1. Hungry Horse Dam.
Trees and snags, left after the logging, were pulled down by dragging a 1-1/2-inch cable, about 200 yards long, between two bulldozers. At first, the cable slipped up the trees, thus passing over the smaller trees. A heavy weight was fastened in the center of the cable to hold it down. But this caused the cable to catch all the stumps left from logging. John Trisdale, one of the clearing contractors, designed a hugh steel ball, eight feet in diameter, made of one inch boiler plate, weighing about 8,000 pounds. Cables were fastened to a shaft running through the center of the steel ball. This proved a great success. By putting this ball in the center of the cable between the two bulldozers, it held the cable four feet above the ground, thus clearing the stumps. Five of these 8-foot steel balls were used on this job. (Submitted on March 24, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Bulldozers And Steel Balls.
Back in 1940s and 50s America it wasn’t a question if the forest should be ripped down, it was a question
Hungry Horse Clearing Ball (<b><i>west side view</b></i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 2, 2013
3. Hungry Horse Clearing Ball (west side view)

The connecting segment for one of two heavy chains used to drag the clearing ball is visible on the right side of the ball.
of how quickly that pesky forest could be dispatched with and who could figure out the best way to do it. Such was the case when the US Government put out a contract to clear 25,000 acres of forest in the wilds of Montana at the site of the Hungry Horse Dam projects. The mammoth dam would be used to help control the Flathead River and manage water in the Columbia River drainage area by creating a huge reservoir behind it. The physical dimensions of the forest area that needed clearing were huge, some 34 miles long and 3.5 miles wide at points. (Submitted on March 24, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Hungry Horse clearing operations.
4.5 ton, 8 foot diameter steel ball used in Hungry Horse clearing operations (Submitted on March 24, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryIndustry & CommerceMan-Made Features
 
Hungry Horse Dam Sign image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 2, 2013
4. Hungry Horse Dam Sign
Hungry Horse Dam is just southwest of town, about 4 miles from the marker
Hungry Horse Dam image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 2, 2013
5. Hungry Horse Dam
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 26, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 24, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 68 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 24, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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