The Milwaukee Road put itself into debt in the 19teens to go electric instead of steam or diesel, and as a company never totally recoverd financially. When they went bankrupt in the 1970's and shut down so many Montana communities depended on the Milwaukee to move frieght and employ people that the governor's office came close to declaring a state of emergency.
Note the caved in roof on the poured-in place concrete building?
We drove north of Harlo through Judith Gap and its wind turbines
Wind farms, on land that is still being farmed. A combine fits under one of the blades with over 30 feet to spare.
and then west at “Eddie's Corner” to Ackley Lake State Park. Campers, RV’s and trailers packed the campground when we arrived at about 8:30pm, so we just pulled into a field in the state park to camp in. It’s a pretty low key type of place. Unfortunately, the water was pretty high and the wind was blowing, so not only did we not have a tent camping spot, but we couldn’t start a fire for s’mores! I haven’t camped in a tent since like 1997, and I love s’mores, and was really looking forward to both of those things. Oh well, truck camping and BBQ’d hamburgers (without condiments- DJ forgot to pack them) and then to bed for some reading.We woke up on Friday, and got out of the campground at about 8:30am. By 9am we were in Lewistown, drinking coffee and walking around.
Lewistown is pretty awesome. Many of the older buildings have this incredible stonework done by Croatian immigrants to the area during the Homesteading Era of 1900-1919.
The Fergus County High School, now apartments with parking in the gym! I wonder how many former students who swore that they'd never step foot in the building again now reside there?
The last thing we checked out in Lewistown before leaving was the airport, which still uses its Deperssion Era hangar! Cool!
We left Lewistown about 11am and headed north and west towards Fort Benton. Stay tuned for the rest of the story! (I miss Paul Harvey).