flathead-reservation

Winter wheat - A. H. Hudson, valley view.”, 7/20/1915

From the file unit:  Glass Negatives and Photographs. Series: Glass Negatives and Photographs, 1911 - 1939. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793 - 1999

From the scope & content note: 

This image documents investigations and construction on various units of the Flathead Irrigation Project. The Project was initiated to determine rights and distribute water originating on the Flathead Indian Agency in Montana to both tribal and non-tribal land. The establishment of the Reservation in 1855 preceded Montana statehood by nearly 35 years and presented many challenges in establishing seniority and providing for equitable distribution of water for the irrigation of farms and ranches.

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i’ve talked about it a lot before but hot springs, montana is my favorite place on earth & i don’t think i’d be the kind of photographer i am if not for it. it’s a culty tourist spot on the flathead indian reservation known for its supposedly medicinal hot springs pools. it boomed early in the 20th century and its economy all but died by the 80s, resulting in a lot of its attractions becoming abandoned, save for the nearly 100 year old symes hotel (where we always stay). i visited for the first time as a kid and it just stuck with me. the funny thing is that a day before i visited i had seen spirited away in the theater, so going to a strange, colorful, half-abandoned town with an actual abandoned bathhouse had me terrified that the events in the movie were really going to happen to me. i even cried at the hotel restaurant because i thought my parents were going to turn into pigs! but, like with all things that used to scare me, i eventually became enthralled by it. my doll obsession was even fostered there - there used to be an antique store chock full of old dolls, with a hidden room in the attic lined wall to wall with handmade wooden dolls, no two of which were alike. apparently the town is now one of the last populated areas in the country with absolutely no cell service