Helena Fire Tower

Fire plagued Helena in the early days. Wooden buildings huddled together and a lack of abundant water made stopping fires once they got started very difficult. Several huge fires in the 1870s were particularly horrific, wiping out much of the central business district and many homes. It should be remembered that, during those pre-railroad days, nearly all supplies had to be freighted overland into Helena from either the head of navigation on the Missouri River at Fort Benton, 130 miles to the north, or along the Montana Trail from Corinne, Utah, some 400 miles to the south. It could take months to replace needed materials after a fire, and at no small expense.

A watchtower overlooking Last Chance Gulch was first built on the west side of “Catholic Hill” in the early 1870s. The one pictured above, which was taller and included a shelter on top, was built in 1874. An 1864 Gould Manufacturing Co. bell salvaged from the Missouri River sidewheeler “Tacony” was hung in the new tower (that bell is pictured above), replacing a large iron triangle which had been used to sound the alarm. — Helenahistory.org

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Helena Women’s Mural

Painted on the side of the Livestock Building, the mural commemorates groups and individual women who contributed to the greater community. Suffragists, painted ladies, schoolteachers, and pioneers, as well as rodeo star Fanny Sperry Steele and guitarist M. J. Williams, represent Helena’s diverse women. Women planned, designed, and painted the mural. Intended to last no more than a dozen years, it has become a permanent landmark. — helenamt.com

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Montana

This photo was taken along Highway 287 just north of Three Forks, MT. The highway follows the Missouri. This scene is just to the west and would be what Lewis and Clark saw as they made their way to the three forks.

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Grand Prismatic Spring

The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world,[3] after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand and Boiling Lake in Dominica. It is located in the Midway Geyser Basin.

Grand Prismatic Spring was noted by geologists working in the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871, and named by them for its striking coloration. Its colors match the rainbow dispersion of white light by an optical prism: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.[4] — From Wikipedia.

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Excelsior Geyser Crater

From Wikipedia: The Excelsior Geyser pool discharges 4,000 to 4,500 gallons (15,100–17,000 l)[5] of 199 °F (93 °C)[3] water per minute directly into the Firehole River. In the late 19th century (there was possibly some activity in 1901 too), it was an active geyser that erupted frequently. Most eruptions were about 100 feet high, although some exceeded 300 feet (91 m) in both height and width. It is believed that the powerful eruptions damaged its internal plumbing system, and it now boils as a productive hot spring most of the time.

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Biscuit Basin Bison

Some Bison enjoying the day in the Biscuit Basin area of Yellowstone National Park. This photo also includes the Sapphire pool and Firehole River.

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Sapphire Pool

“Temperature 200-202°F Dimensions 18×30 feet. Sapphire Pool, named for its blue, crystal-clear water and for its resemblance to an Oriental sapphire, was once a placid hot pool. It was not until after the 1959 earthquake that major eruptions occurred. For several years following the earthquake powerful eruptions at two hour intervals reached 150 feet. The force of the eruptions caused the crater to double in size, destroying the biscuit-like formations around its edge, and the crystal-clear water became murky. By 1968 Sapphire ceased to function as a true geyser. Today Sapphire still retains its crystal-clear, blue water, and still violently boils and surges occasionally.” –Yellowstonenationalpark.com

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