20/35 Year Look Back

In celebration of 36 years of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder, each week we will run parts of articles that appeared in the issue 35 years ago and 20 years ago. The entire issue will be uploaded to our website seeleylake.com for you to enjoy. We hope you will enjoy the journey with us as we follow our community through the past 36 years as documented by the Pathfinder.

35 years ago: May 14, 1987 issue

Seeley Lake: The 1930s

Story Suzanne Vernon

Editor's note: Herb and Ella "Butch" Townsend, longtime Seeley Lake residents, have generously volunteered to help begin a series of articles about the physical appearance of Seeley Lake "in the early days."

Herb Townsend considers himself a "Johnny-come-lately," compared to other Seeley Lake pioneers. Herb first arrived in Seeley Lake in 1930, about 15 years after Lester and Jesse Perro, the Skillicorns, Roveros and Sperrys first called this place home. Herb arrived in the Clearwater Valley trailing a band of horses via the old Jocko Trail.

"The trail was a doozie, especially around the lake," he remembers. The Jocko Road wasn't built until 1933 or 1934.

"I was horse crazy," Herb laughed. And he wasn't the only one. Seeley Lake was a popular vacation area among wealthy Easterners. Managers for the major dude ranches - Double Arrow, Tamaracks and Holland Lake Lodge - would travel to Missoula and pick up guests who would often stay for a month, enjoying horseback riding, the scenery, the fishing, hunting and, of course, the wild west romance of the dude ranches.

Although Herb found work with Jan Boissevain and the Double Arrow Ranch, "breaking horses and wrangling for dudes," he remembers 1930 as a bad year, "after the big crash came." Every cabin and shack had people living in them. "No welfare and not much work," he recalls. But, folks could live where wood was free and a deer could be taken to help out with groceries. Every Saturday night there was dances at somebody's place, "And we had fun!" he laughed. The stage stayed over for the weekend...

To read more of this article and more from this issue visit https://www.seeleylake.com/home/customer_files/article_documents/1987-05-14.pdf

35 years ago: May 14, 1987 issue

Natty revealed

This may be the appropriate time to explain about Natty Bumppo. A number of readers have inquired as to his origins.

The literary-minded may recall the "Leatherstocking Tales" - a series of frontier adventure novels by James Fenimore Cooper. The protagonist of these classic tales was one Natty Bumppo, 18th-century scout and frontiersman par excellent - by reputation, he was known as the Pathfinder.

We are pleased that Natty's modern-day descendant inhabits our Valley and graces the pages of the Pathfinder, special thanks to his "mom" Anne Dahl.

- Dick Potter

20 years ago: May 16, 2002 issue

Nordique Log Homes granted patent on building system

Nordique System Log Homes located at 46.5-mile maker on Highway 83 in Western Montana's Swan Valley was notified by the U.S. Patent Office that on Dec. 31, 2001 they have been granted a full patent on their system of building log homes.

Patented under U.S. Patent 6,363,672, this system is unique to the log home industry by eliminating the settling that commonly occurs in traditional log home construction. According to owners Dan Baker, Bruce Janssen and Ken Donovan, the Nordique System has revolutionized the log home industry.

There is no need to use screw jacks, slip joints or compression springs because the home will not settle, which saves the homeowner a lot of long-term maintenance, said the owners.

All doors and windows are framed in tight in the yard and once the wall sections are put together, they are never taken apart which assures not only a very tight, energy efficient home and the reset on the homeowner's foundation only takes hours.

To read more of this article and more from this issue visit https://www.seeleylake.com/home/customer_files/article_documents/2002-05-16.pdf


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