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Missoula: 1942

April 1942. "Missoula, Montana." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.

April 1942. "Missoula, Montana." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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If you know, you know

Every time I hear or read the words "Missoula Montana" I think of that scene in Twin Peaks where Ray Wise (as Leland Palmer) is in the process of murdering Sheryl Lee (as Maddy Ferguson, his niece) and he shoves her into a mirror bellowing "You're Going Back ... to Missoula ... MONTANAAAAAAA!"

Missoula Station

Missoula Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, as the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot. Near the depot is the preserved Northern Pacific #1356 4-6-0 steam locomotive.

The Paint on the Building ...

The Atlantic Hotel and Coca Cola signs painted on the side of building located at 519 N. Higgins Ave are both still there.

A bunch of balloons?

Nice view of the now-gone roundhouse. Everything here is fairly recognizable except for the odd looking load in this gondola. Anybody know what this is? And there is the oddly proportioned caboose next to the gon.

[The load of logs is behind the gondola. - Dave]

The view from Waterworks Hill

Surviving buildings include the former Atlantic Hotel (including its wall sign), the former Northern Pacific Railroad Depot, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, and the Missoula County Courthouse. Vachon took this picture from "Waterworks Hill," which is getting a major upgrade (including its own parking lot) for the benefit of others using the spot to look over the City, or as a trailhead.

Spare tires?

There are several piles of large rings in the foreground, to the left of the locomotive barns. Are those spare tires for the drive wheels?


The roundhouse is gone, so now we can see the turntable. However, it was not housed or sheltered. It was an open air table, like almost all of them were.

Round? Yes. House? Nope.

Poor trains, nary a roof over their heads.

The roundhouse is gone - -

but the turntable is still there and in use.

Changed, but not totally different

This Street View is taken from what is now Interstate 90, also called MT-200. The main body of the train station is still on the other side of the tracks but the house sheltering the turntable is gone. At left the cupola atop the Missoula County government building is still visible.

Three C's Deployment

My dad was in this area a few years earlier with the Civilian Conservation Corps. I suspect it looked pretty much the same when he was out there.

The turntable is still there

But the buildings have gone.,-113.9892682,3a,60y,244.79h,95.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1ReWcT0iuv0JuXq_HnvBYw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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