Monday, January 24, 2011

Kishenehn ...

Nowadays, the park rangers in Glacier mostly spend the winter months holed up in a handful of the larger ranger stations, but back in the early days of the park many of them lived in the wilderness year-round, in primitive log cabins often completely inaccessible by road. It was a rugged and solitary life, especially in the winter.

Kishenehn was one of the most remote of Glacier's backcountry ranger stations, just a few miles from the Canadian border along the North Fork. The park stationed a single ranger there, summer and winter, for nearly thirty years ... the only park employee for miles. The place has been mostly deserted for over seventy years, now, but the old buildings are still up there.

This great old photo recorded the rarest of events at Kishenehn -- a party. The date is Thanksgiving, 1933, and all of Glacier's west-side rangers have gathered at Kishenehn to celebrate. These are the men who protected Glacier park nearly eighty years ago.

(And I need to confess to a self-indulgent reason for posting this particular photo -- I recently wrote an article on Kishenehn for Montana: The Magazine of Western History, and it was published in the Winter 2010 issue. It was a fun project, writing about a part of the world that I love.)


  1. Believe me, people would still do it now if the government still paid for you to be out there to do it. -Josef

  2. Oh, absolutely! I'd do it myself, if I could figure out a way to get wi-fi up there. ;-)

  3. I'd like an autographed copy if you've got one stashed sum'eres...wish I'd known sooner. Won't be over that way for a few months yet. Congratulations.