Montana called me to it for its mines, ghost towns, and beauty. The thousands of miles of abandoned rail grades was an unexpected surprise. As I connected the dots between former mining towns, headframes, and ruins, I kept running into abandoned Milwaukee Road grades, inspiring me to follow the old mainline for a few hundred miles. Here’s a preview of what I found:
From a 1920 brochure.
The depot of Ringling is a very lonely looking building and there are many holes in its roof. There are no signs on it whatsoever.
Ringling’s church was built in 1914 and sits on a hill over the town.
The depot at the head of town seems to be being disassembled. Behind it is a dead signal where the tracks used to be; they’ve been pulled.
Castle, Montana is a ghost town. Almost no signs remain that it was a mining town.
Milwaukee Road’s second substation at Loweth, as seen from the highway. Somewhat ironically, a new electrical substation is across the street from it today.In the background, you can make out a collapsing storage shed and some of the grades.
References »(1918, September 4). The Northwestern Miller, 115.
(1929, July). Milwaukee Road Magazine.
(1959). Modern Railroads, 14(1), 136.
Drake, J. (1914, April). Milwaukee Road Magazine, 26.
Clark, R. A., & Fell, J. J., Jr. (2009). Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://www.oldmilwaukeeroad.com/content/proud/complete_text.htm
HISTORY OF THE LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE LINES WEST OF MOBRIDGE, SOUTH DAKOTA. (1915). VALUATION SECTIONS AND SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES.
McRae, W. C., & Jewell, J. (2009). Moon Montana. Avalon Publishing.
Milwaukee Road Historical District, Harlowton [NRHP Nomination Form]. (1988, July 8).
Snyder, S. A. (2012). Scenic Routes & Byways Montana. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=MFmBWZQys7IC
Stearns, H. J. (1966). History of the upper Musselshell Valley to 1920. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.umt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3594&context=etd