The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Railcar Cleanup Effort Extends to Bonfires


Sean R. Heavey /For the Courier

Pictured L-R: Glasgow's Ryan Brown, David Ahlstedt (Nashua), and photographer Carlos Valle gather around a fire at Boxcar Road near the Fort Peck Dredge Cuts on Dec. 10.

The railcar at the intersection of Hwy. 117 and Boxcar Road near Park Grove has been the site of some festive bonfires lately. Currently, the property is home to one historic railcar and two giant piles of wooden debris that once graced our local short lines in railcar form.

Courier editor James Walling discussed efforts to clean up the property and make the piece of land and its resident artifact more appealing to passing traffic and local residents.

"We're in good-neighbor mode right now," Walling explains. "We really just want to get the piles of wooden debris along the new highway burned, sold, or given away by springtime."

In a Courier article dated July 8, 2015, Walling discussed his intentions of turning the car into a writer's retreat and bookstore. Both Walling and Courier contributor Ginevra Kirkland have been attached to a countywide literacy project named Boxcar Road Books, inspired by the railcar's physical address.

The centennial car once travelled the state and country loaded with gold, silver, and art in a 1964 attempt to draw attention to the state's massive appeal and scenery. The train, named in honor of Montana's Centennial celebration, ultimately made its way to the 1964 New York World's Fair and back again, carrying over 300 passengers; some of them among Montana's most distinguished residents, visiting over 18 states and the District of Columbia, where passengers rubbed elbows with the likes of President Lyndon Johnson.

This winter, the guest list is comparatively modest. According to Walling and Kirkland, all comers are welcome, provided they don't mind feeding the fire from time to time. "If you notice a fire going," Walling adds, extending the invite generally, "feel free to stop by and say hello."


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