It is becoming increasingly common to receive news about another treasured Montana landmark being lost to the hands of time. This time it is the old railroad depot in Martinsdale, Montana. The building was once a stop for passenger and freight trains traveling along the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad–otherwise known as the famed Milwaukee Road. What was once the first and last thing people saw when arriving and departing Martinsdale will soon be gone forever.
The treasured old building has had structural problems for several years. It doesn’t take an architect or an engineer to see that. But I’m told the roof has become so fragile that locals have deemed it a safety hazard. Unfortunately that seems to be the prevailing fate for a lot of old abandoned buildings in Montana. You can add the Martinsdale depot to a long list of structures I have photographed over the years that will soon be gone. Forever.
I was in Martinsdale photographing sheep shearing at the Bair Ranch a few days ago and made a point of photographing the tired old structure that will soon be put to rest. I can’t help thinking this may be the last photograph someone ever took of the railroad depot in Martinsdale. I also can’t help hoping someone will try saving some of the most important historical landmarks that dot the Montana landscape so future generations can enjoy them, too.