Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bigfork ...

It's always fun to look at historic photos and compare them with the way things are today ... and one of the cool things about Montana is that a lot of the times the comparisons are pretty strong. We're a land of timeless landscapes.

That's not true, of course, for many of the towns in the western third of the state, which have long since been "discovered" and thoroughly transformed by an influx of people. And there's no better example of that than the town of Bigfork, up on the northeast shore of Flathead Lake.

Here's a photo of Bigfork taken by Morton Elrod back in 1908, and now in the University of Montana archives. As best I can tell, we're on the hill just south of town, looking north ... but except for the Swan River, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything at all in that shot that's recognizable today. And that's too bad.

(Morton Elrod, by the way, was a fascinating and well-known man, Montana's leading biologist of a century ago. He taught for years at the university in Missoula, and in the summertimes organized the first naturalist programs in Glacier National Park.)

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