East Portal in Mineral County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
Building From the Ashes
“All that remained was to salvage what material that could be salvaged from the disaster, and reorganize for a new start.” - Clarence B. Swim, Assistant Forester
As the railroad operated rescue trains, Missoula residents met the refugees at the station offering food, clothing and lodging. When the rains came and the fires died down, the relief committee provided tents and supplies so families could return to rebuild their homes and lives. In spite of the widespread devastation, most western Montana communities rose again after the 1910 Fires.
The forests proved equally resilient. After the fall rain came the winter snow followed by new life in spring. Wildflowers bloomed in the summer, and shrubs and trees thrived and grew. Each year the landscapes progressively recovered as they always do after a fire. The fledgling Forest Service also healed over time, renewing its commitment to the protection of the nationís forests and investing in research to better understand fire.
These early 20th century men believed they could stop all fires if they just worked hard enough. The 1910 Fires changed everything.
Erected 2010 by Lolo National Forest.
Location. 47° 23.779′ N, 115° Touch for map. Located at the Route of the Hiawatha Trailhead. Marker is in this post office area: Saltese MT 59867, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. An Unlikely Safe Haven (here, next to this marker); Douse the Flames and Climb Aboard (a few steps from this marker); When the Mountains Roared (a few steps from this marker); A Battle That Could Not Be Won (a few steps from this marker); Pluck and Good Fortune (within shouting distance of this marker); The Route of the Hiawatha (within shouting distance of this marker); Life Along the Line (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wickedest City (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in East Portal.
More about this marker. On the bottom is a photo with the caption, "After the 1910 Fires, railroads rebuilt trestles and most local communities rebuilt their towns. One way Missoulians rallied to aid the fire victims was by running a coupon in the local paper asking for contributions. The coupon shown above was printed August 23, 1910."
photo: Harry English (1908-1910), Historic Wallace Preservation Society, Inc.
Also see . . .
1. 1910 Fire Commemoration Information Site. US Forest Service (Submitted on August 3, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. U.S. Forest Service History - The 1910 Fires. The Forest History Society (Submitted on August 3, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
3. The West is Burning Up! The 1910 Fire. By Jim Petersen, Evergreen Magazine, Winter Edition 1994-1995 (Submitted on August 3, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Disasters • Horticulture & Forestry •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 3, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 441 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 3, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.