Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Call of the Mountains ...

The Great Northern Railway issued some of the most beautiful promotional material ever created for Montana ... not surprising, really, since the railroad's route alongside Glacier Park brought it close to the most beautiful scenery in the state. Over the course of fifty years, Glacier figured very strongly in much of the Great Northern's advertising material.

That was especially true in the 1910s and 1920s, when the GN was the primary means of long-distance travel to Glacier, and the railroad's network of hotels and chalets in the park was at its peak. The image below is the cover of a small paperback issued by Great Northern in 1927. As with many of the GN's Glacier-related publications, the artwork is a visual blend of two recurring themes: spectacular scenery and romantic Native American culture.

The epigraph of the book is a quote from the novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart, whom the railroad had hired to write about Glacier:
"The Call of the Mountains is a real call -- Go out and ride the mountain trails -- look across green valleys to wild peaks where mountain goats stand impassive on the edge of space -- then the mountains will get you."

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