Wolf Creek Hotel
Wolf Creek Hotel
In 1886-1887 the Montana Central Railroad wound its way through the steep Prickly Pear Canyon, an area prized for its superb trout fishing. The town of Wolf Creek, named after an Indian word meaning “Creek That The Wolf Jumped In,” grew from Cartersville, a mile to the east, to serve the railroad. James Carter built a small one-story hotel here in 1887. He soon sold the hotel to a young Englishman, Charles Forman, who replaced it with this three-story frame building circa 1892. Forman attached his new hotel to the original manager’s house, covering its log walls with clapboard siding. Its simple no-frills style was once a common sight across rural Montana. Ten rooms and home-cooked meals offered respite for outdoor enthusiasts as well as stage and railroad travelers. Forman, a butcher by trade, also operated a livery stable and meat company. The small house out back, once filled with ice cut from the Missouri River, kept his larder cool. The hotel operated from 1887 to 1984 under only five owners. It served as a stage stop along the Mullan Trail and routes from Helena to Augusta and Fort Benton. Later it sheltered workers who built Holter Dam in 1910, gas pipeline laborers in the 1930s, and highway crews who divided the town in the 1960s. Although now under the shadow of the interstate, its time-layered walls earlier witnessed high winds and waters, fires, births, and deaths. Restoration as a private home in the 1990s began a new chapter in the long life of this railroad-era landmark.
The Montana National Register Sign Program
hotels (public accommodations)
300 Main Street, Wolf Creek, Montana
Lewis and Clark county