Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Betty Vanderwielen

Checkerboarding, rubber forty and dummy entrymen

The Seeley Lake Timber Sale 1907-1910


Provided by Archives & Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana.

Hugh Archibald used to tend the splash dams at Placid and Seeley Lakes. A splash dam was a temporary wood blockade at the outflow of the lake put in place to raise the water lever. When the dam was removed, the logs were flushed out of the lake and sent on their way to the mill.

If the early history of Seeley Lake is intertwined with the lumber industry, the rise of the United States Forest Service is incontrovertibly intertwined with Seeley Lake and in particular with the Big Blackfoot Timber Sale of 1907-1910. Historian and member of the Camp Paxson Preservation Board Gary Williams has been researching that sale. The Seeley Swan Pathfinder will be bringing some of the interesting bits of information he has discovered about logging in the Seeley Lake area and also about the fledgling U.S. Forest Service.

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