There's no doubt at all that the grain elevator is the manmade feature most associated with Montana's agricultural landscape. They're extraordinarily evocative things, standing tall and brave and often alone against a mostly-horizontal horizon. Mostly, the elevators were tied to the railroads and the small towns that grew up along their lines ... and as the towns faded away, sometimes the elevator was all that was left.
This is a photo I took last fall of the elevator in Ross Fork, a town that -- like many -- probably never amounted to much. The post office there closed 40 years ago, and today it's basically just a farmyard, with the old railway depot turned into a storage shed. But the elevator is still there, easily the grandest site for a good long ways.