Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day 45

Big Belt Mtns 01 Big Belt Mountains Across the Valley from the RV Park.

Helena, MT is on the other side of the mountains. The mountains are still snow capped.

White Sulphur Springs Downtown An advantage of being retired is that one can stay put during the holidays and not complete with the holiday traffic. I made an exception today and went into town to find a car wash. As you can see, traffic was really heavy.

Old Railroad Station 04

The car wash was on the very north. After washing the Hummer, I drove south about 10 blocks to the end of town. The old railroad station was at the very south end. No sign of any tracks but there are a few abandoned rail cars with nowhere to go anymore. I then preceded a block east in search of the one grocery store hoping to find huckleberry ice cream. I did manage to find the grocery store but no huckleberry ice cream.

Wht Sulphur Springs Castle 02 A couple of blocks west of Main Street (US 89) at the western edge of town is the Castle. The Castle' is an imposing mansion built in 1892 by Bryon Roger Sherman, and is now the home of the Meagher County Museum. The mansion has twelve rooms all laid with hardwood floors and covered with Belgian and Oriental rugs. In the bathrooms were washbowls and stands of Italian marble, and the light fixtures were of crystal and brass. The Victorian landmark is made of hand-cut granite blocks hauled by oxen from the nearby Castle Mountains.

Sherman installed a large water tank in the attic, supplied by pump from a windmill in the northeast corner of the yard. In 1894 he enlarged a pond on his ranch that was fed by an abundant spring, and laid a twenty-inch pipe about 150 yards down the hill to a two-story electric light plant that had two dynamos in the basement. The electricity was carried into town on bare wire strung on pine and spruce poles. The plant could run only about six hours before the pressure of the pond became too low. Consumers learned to plan their activities around the 'on' hours, but they could lay claim to living in one of the first towns in the state to have electricity.

Sherman didn't live in his stone castle too many years before retiring and moving to California.

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