This morning's photo is an historic image of downtown Winnett, Montana, taken back in 1916. Winnett was a new homestead town back then, typical of dozens of such places all across central and eastern Montana. The place had a moment of glory, though: an oil strike at nearby Cat Creek in 1920, that briefly turned Winnett into a miniature boom town. People and equipment moved in rapidly, oil refineries were constructed, and by 1923 an estimated 2000 people called Winnett home. The town became the seat of newly-established Petroleum County in 1926.
The boom faded quickly, though, and by the end of the decade it was all mostly over. For the last 80 years Winnett has been a small and isolated ranch community ... and now Petroleum County is the least populated in all of Montana, with only 436 residents.
Exploratory on trail below Fairview Mountain
23 hours ago