The Big Creek Ranger Station has been designated National Historic Districts in the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of those cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register includes districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.
Established in 1908, the Big Creek Ranger Station Historic District reflects construction dating to 1927 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its historical associations with the creation and administration of Flathead National Forest programs, and fire management in USFS Region One and the western United States. The property has added significance for the qualities of the buildings which reflect Craftsman influences combined with a rustic aesthetic, a typical format for USDA Forest Service buildings in the west and particularly Region One.
The buildings at the Big Creek Ranger Station retain a high level of integrity and reflect typical design patterning established by Forest Service architects of the 1920s and 1930s that pervaded throughout the 20thcentury. The simple, pattern-book designs evidenced in the buildings incorporate many aspects of agency design, from the utilitarian emphasis on rural self-sufficiency, to the Craftsman detailing discernable in gently-sloped rooflines, shingle siding, inviting porches, exposed rafters and purlins, multi-paned horizontally-banded windows.
Although the National Register is a program of the National Park Service, it is administered at the state level by each respective state. In addition to the recognition that listing provides, registered properties are afforded a measure of protection from projects that are funded, licensed, or executed by the federal government. National Register properties may also be eligible for historic preservation tax incentives.
For additional information please contact the Forest Archeologist, Tim Light, at (406) 758-5258.