It was located right in my backyard – where I grew up – yet, I'd neither heard of it nor the story associated with it. Following the devastating forest fires of 1910 (the "Big Burn"), mountaintop lookouts were established as an early warning system. One of them, in the Kootenai National Forest (my backyard, as I grew up in Libby), acquired a rather infamous name in the 1960s: Sex Peak Lookout.
Jim Harmon writes, "Ah, if only I had known about Diocletian Lewis. I might today be a man with a full head of hair, rather than a shallow remnant of a male with hardly a single follicle in working order."
Montana’s reliance on volunteer firefighters has a fascinating history. In 1878, the Virginia City newspaper, the Madisonian, praised the work of the town’s volunteers: “The fire brigade did heroic work in extinguishing the flames and preventing the spread” of a fire in a wood shed at William Thompson’s place."
Hundreds of trout, dozens of grouse, hail the size of eggs, watermelons stolen from an old man, naughty boys disrupting the singing school, a sure way to improve school boys’ spelling, a screeching brass band and a bit of Irish humor. Those were the August headlines in Missoula newspapers in 1874.