May 19, 2016

EXTRA! Montana Newspaper Stories 1864-1922: Glacier National Park

The glacial peaks of northwest Montana had been home to Blackfeet, Salish and Kootenai peoples for hundreds of years, and later became popular with whites for fishing and hunting. Gradually, word of the area’s unique beauty spread. Efforts to protect it began as early as the 1880s, simultaneous with the expansion of the Great Northern Railway, which constructed lodging, transported visitors, and promoted the park to tourists. In 1924, surveying begins for the Going–To–The–Sun Road, one of the first National Park Service projects intended specifically to accommodate motor vehicles.


Key dates

1855—The Lame Bull Treaty establishes the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
1880s—George Bird Grinnell works to establish a park.
1891—The Great Northern Railway crosses the Continental Divide at Marias Pass.
1895—Chief White Calf of the Blackfeet sells 800,000 acres to the U.S.
May 11, 1910—President Taft signs the bill creating Glacier National Park. Annual visitation is around 4000.
1932—Going–To–The–Sun Road completed.
1940—Annual visitor count exceeds 177,000.


From the newspapers


To find more

Search for these terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases: glacier park, lake mcdonald, great northern railroad, blackfeet indian reservation

Written by Catherine W. Ockey
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