Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sharing your day ...

After getting an e-mail from a friend I thought I'd go back to Ingomar for one more photo.

Ingomar is definitely one of my favorite Montana towns, and there's no doubt that per capita,the place has more claims to fame than nearly anywhere. There's the Jersey Lily, of course, which I've mentioned here before; and there's the schoolhouse-turned-bunkhouse, decorated with roomfuls of African taxidermy; and there's the little store where for years you could buy the finest homemade wool sweaters in Montana.

And then there's the fact that, for most of its life, Ingomar had absolutely no domestic water supply. Instead, water for the town came in by rail ... every few days the Milwaukee Road would fill up an old steam locomotive tender with water, haul it out to Ingomar, and park it on a siding for the locals. This kept up until the railroad was finally abandoned in 1980, forcing the government to finally build the town a water system. But still, when the railroad pulled out for good it left the old locomotive tender behind as a souvenir.

And it's still there, thirty years later, right at the entrance to town. The thing is quite a conversation piece, and a few years back an Ingomar resident thoughtfully painted a message on its rusting steel flank:


  1. My family has long had a deep fondness for Ingomar, especially for the Jersey Lil. My grandpa grew up in Sumatra and we'd go to Ingomar a couple times each summer to visit friends from Melstone and have Bill Seward's famous beans and a steak.

    This is a great sign! And completely encapsulates the friendliness of the community.

  2. I have a real fondness for that area, too ... it's compelling country, if you get to know it. I think I told you that I actually lived in Forsyth while working on a research project back in the late 80s, and I'm still friends with a couple of people out that way.

    And I used to know Ingomar well, though most of the folks I knew there have passed away ... Bill Seward, and Sivert & Janet Mysse. That country's losing people too fast, and they don't have any to spare!

    A couple of friends and I actually put together the documentation to list the Lily, the store, and the school on the National Register of Historic Places ... a really fun project, and it made the town happy, too.

    I need to get back that way soon ... I hear the Lily isn't always open these days, and if it's in trouble I want to have myself a last panful of beans ...

  3. Just for anybody who might be surfing this. The Lilly is back open. We stopped there in August 2011. This Michigan boy (& his family) go to try their fare. What a great place!!! The Lilly was a true highlight for us on our journey to Glacier park. Do not miss the chance to stop here!!!!!!

  4. Bill,

    Thanks for your note! And yep, I can also confirm that the Lilly is back open again ... I had dinner there a couple of weeks ago myself. It's still the same old place as always, which made me very happy.

    This time of year, the Lilly is open Wednesday through Sunday, until about 8:30 or so. Once summer comes around, I suspect it will be open every day again.