Archive for the ‘ Ghost Towns of the West ’ Category

Ghost Towns of the West-Rocky Point, MT

Ghost Towns of the West-Rocky Point MT Google Maps

Rocky Point-From U.S. Highway 191, 5.7 miles east on CMR Auto Nature Tour Road, 7.7 miles on local road along north bank of Missouri River.

A. Broadwater, Helena merchant, financier, entrepeneur, was one of the businessmen involved in the Carroll Trail (1872-1874). During its short existence, Broadwater made a trip by horseback from Carroll up river to Fort Benton and overland to Helena. He knew that Rocky Point, two bottoms above Carroll, had an existing ferry, a good solid crossing with north and south travel as well as it was an early woodhawk location. He seized the opportunity to move up to Rocky Point where he built a 2 story, 40′ X 90′ trading post and was awarded a Government contract through his business associate and dear friend, Amhert Wilder of St. Paul, Minnesota. He asked for Cantonment Rocky Point which consisted for 19 infantry men to guard the government freight shipments destined for Fort Maginnis in 1881 as well as mill machinery for the new gold mines at Maiden. Gold had also been discovered in the Little Rockies and some shipments went to the north, which made this a busy river port.

The Military Telegraph line from Fort Buford (North Dakota) via Camp Poplar, Ft. Galpin (near Ft Peck), Hawley, Wilders Landing to Fort Maginnis was completed in 1882 and an office at Rocky Point opened. This line was built by soldiers in three sections.


Ghosts Towns of the West–Nighthawk, Washington

Link to Google Map of key sites.

The remains of the town of Nighthawk stand along the Similkameen River in an area where nighthawks, sometimes called “bull bats,” were very prevalent.  The supply center that sprung up here was named for the birds.  The Ruby, Kaaba, and the more famous War Eagle mines were among those developed by James M. Haggerty, an attorney who was responsible for managing the estate of Hiram “Okanogan” Smith.  Smith was friendly to the Native Americans and was elected to the Territorial Legislature of Washington in 1860.  After serving one term, he settled on his ranch near Chesaw and tended his orchard for 40 years.

View of Kaaba-Texas Mine Ruins (located on Allemandi property on north side of Silmilkameen River, south of Nighthawk)

Nighthawk had been built where the ground was level but the main producing mine was across the Silmilkameen.  A footbridge was good enough for the early traffic but when it became inadequate, a ferry was put into operation by William Berry.  About 1900, the Vancouver, Victoria, & Eastern Railroad ran its line through Nighthawk to Oroville and the town looked forward to a rosy future.  For a time it seemed to be coming true as all heavy equipment for the mines, including the Loomis twelve miles to the south, was rail shipped through Nighthawk.  This meant freighting lines were based here, large livery stables maintained, as well as hotel, store and several saloons.


When the business of transporting mine equipment and passengers was flourishing, the rail line, a branch of the Wenatchee, Oroville & Great Northern ran from its connection at Spokane through Danville, Molson, Chesaw, Nighthawk, and Hedley (British Columbia), terminating at Princeton where it connected with the Canadian Pacific.  By 1950, the line had been cut to a spur approximately 50 miles long from Oroville to Hedley.  Freight was limited to a small amount of farm equipment and produce with an occasional passenger.  The train came to Nighthawk twice a week.  A tiny one-room customs office stood beside the single track.

Route of Wenatchee, Oroville & Great Northern (now referred to as the Cascade & Columbia River Railroad)

The Nighthawk Hotel was built by Ed McNull for miners in boom days.  Later, when Nighthawk Mill was running at full capacity, the Ewing family took it over as a boardinghouse for mill workers.  It stood vacant for many years near the little grocery store operated for 25 years by Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Sullivan.  The Sullivans later moved to Palmer Lake a few miles to the south.

Palmer Lake

Palmer Lake

Palmer Lake

Reference Material:

Florin, Lambert; Ghost Towns of the West; Superior Publishing Company, 1971; pg. 829-831