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View Full Version : Mildred, Montana: An Unexpected Ghost



Fairlane500
09-21-2010, 08:52 AM
While driving throught he farmlands of eastern Montana I knew I would pass through the little community of Mildred. From the map I had, it looked as if it would be a small town, loikely only a shell of a past self, but at least a town nonetheless.

Instead, I found myself in perhaps the best completely ghost town I've ever encountered, with dozens of buildings standing, and not a resident, or sign thereof, in sight.

Unfortunately, other than it being a community along the Milwaukee Road, now the BNSF, and that it once had a Post Office and school, there is not much out there about this little town-no-more.

So, instead enjoy the pictures.

Looking at Mildred from a distance:
http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/8315/p1110146.jpg

http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/4141/p1110155.jpg

Individual derelict homes at Mildred:
http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/4348/p1110147.jpg

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/3503/p1110156.jpg

Expect many more of Mildred to come!

Darin
09-21-2010, 01:06 PM
Very nice find. I see there is what looks like a radio substation in that second picture...or at least a tower of some sort anyway.
Can't wait to see more.

Fairlane500
09-21-2010, 01:36 PM
I'm not exactly sure what it was, probably a radio substation or something. There were a couple of maintained sheds in the town, possibly railroad maintenance or the like.

Looking down the main street of Mildred:
http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/63/p1110169.jpg

An old wooden store building:
http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/2002/p1110148.jpg

A brick store building, one of the most substantial of the town's remaining structures:
http://img814.imageshack.us/img814/9287/p1110149.jpg

http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/1989/p1110177.jpg

Dave A
09-21-2010, 09:50 PM
The brick bldg looks like it might have been a bank, or possibly a post office at one time. There is a grain elevator and it appears surrounding farm land, was the elevator still in use, or abandoned like the rest of the town?

Fairlane500
09-22-2010, 03:06 PM
The brick bldg looks like it might have been a bank, or possibly a post office at one time. There is a grain elevator and it appears surrounding farm land, was the elevator still in use, or abandoned like the rest of the town?

That is a good hypothesis, as the community did have one at one point. I wish I'd had more time to take a closer look, as it still looked like there were furnishings inside the building. It appeared that the grain elevator was no longer in use. There was a siding to it, but there were no fittings present to transfer grain between the silo and cars.

Continuing with the public buildings of Mildred:


The church at Mildred. It appeared to still see occasional use, if the mowed lawn around it was any sign:
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/3873/p1110166.jpg

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/8931/p1110163.jpg

What looks like it could have been a one-room schoolhouse at Mildred:
http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/1622/p1110154.jpg

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/6033/p1110153y.jpg

speedy
09-22-2010, 04:23 PM
Super cool pics, thanks..........Speedy

Dave A
09-22-2010, 05:48 PM
Great pictures - Not so much that they are photographic masterpieces, but they show the raw truth about a part of America that may not be quite dead, but a heart beat would be hard to find.

So many small towns no longer viable, either a few hardy souls living out their remaining years, or gone and deserted as Mildred appears to be . What does this portend for rural America?

Just for my information, I Binged Mildred and found a site called Virtual Montana. Apparently when the highway changed the town lost population. Not sure if that was highway 12, or I-94, which is 19 miles North. There is another town of Ismay that makes for interesting reading on the same site.'

http://www.ultimatemontana.com/sectionpages/Section1/ismay.html

Looks like Eastern Montana is full of small dying farm towns, probably like North Dakota and the rest of the plains states.

barnbum
09-23-2010, 12:54 AM
Neat find and pictures! I did a little surfing and found some more pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/montanatom1950/4136773797/in/photostream/ According to what the person who took the pictures says Mildred was a railway town. I couldn't find anything on the internet to verify that, but it's certainly possible. Thanx for sharing.

Tsarevna
09-23-2010, 01:17 AM
Nice find.

It's just amazing, how towns can dry up and disappear off the map, with nobody really paying attention or keeping track.

There's all this concern about habitat loss and urban sprawl...not much of the public realizes that there is a lot of nature reclamation and habitat "gain" going on in out of the way places!
I bet the deer and jack rabbits graze on the former main street of that place.

Fairlane500
09-23-2010, 03:54 AM
Thanks for the info, guys. My guess is that when The road shut down in the eighties, the town died with it, then, in the same style as Lester in Washington, the revival of the railroad tracks brought nothing to the town, instead it just sits abandoned, returning to the wilds.

A vintage mobile home left derelict:
http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/3410/p1110168.jpg

Another home left to the prairie:
http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/2456/p1110173.jpg

Even the grain silo sits abandoned along the tracks:
http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/5127/p1110174.jpg

It's been a long time since this store had open exposure to the main street:
http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/3841/p1110172b.jpg

Fairlane500
09-27-2010, 04:09 AM
Mildred was also home to a large number of abandoned vehicles left to decay with the community.

A circle 1940 Dodge coupe resting near the church:
http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/4301/p1110161.jpg

A 1957 Ford pickup left to die near an even older boxcar:
http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/5097/p1110171.jpg

A trio of old International work trucks gathered in a field:
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/4477/p1110157b.jpg

http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/5271/p1110178.jpg

barnbum
09-27-2010, 11:45 PM
Great pics! The Dodge looks an awful lot like some of the old cars my dad drove. Way back when. My mother thought we should have a newer car and my dad insisted the old cars were built much better than the new fangled cars. He might have known something we don't.

JuneNY
04-07-2011, 02:50 AM
this town needs to be added to the ghosttowns.com site

Dunerunner400
01-22-2014, 01:51 PM
A large portion of my family lived in Mildred and grew up here. We still own 7 acres in this town and I can tell u just about whatever u wanna know about Mildred in fact one of your picture is of my great grandmothers house . I love seeing the interest in a town I know so well .



While driving throught he farmlands of eastern Montana I knew I would pass through the little community of Mildred. From the map I had, it looked as if it would be a small town, loikely only a shell of a past self, but at least a town nonetheless.

Instead, I found myself in perhaps the best completely ghost town I've ever encountered, with dozens of buildings standing, and not a resident, or sign thereof, in sight.

Unfortunately, other than it being a community along the Milwaukee Road, now the BNSF, and that it once had a Post Office and school, there is not much out there about this little town-no-more.

So, instead enjoy the pictures.

Looking at Mildred from a distance:
http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/8315/p1110146.jpg

http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/4141/p1110155.jpg

Individual derelict homes at Mildred:
http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/4348/p1110147.jpg

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/3503/p1110156.jpg

Expect many more of Mildred to come!

Phyllis
07-01-2014, 03:39 PM
I am fascinated by finding this site!! I just wanted to share the name and Author of a book I just finished reading, that mentions Mildred, Montana, as well as Ismay, Montana. It is an easy read and full of facts. The book is called "Homesteading" A Montana Family Album. Written by Percy Wollaston. I checked it out of my local library. I recently went on vacation to Wyoming and got interested in the Oregon Trail and the stories of the immigrants, and that is how I ended up at the library, looking for books about the pioneers. Hope this helps somebody. There are family photos of Percy included in the book, as he is telling the true story about how he grew up and settled in Montana.
Phyllis

gary350
12-23-2014, 07:20 AM
WOW. What a nice place to live. I would love to live in Montana. Great find, great photos. I will look for Mildred MO next summer, we might camp there for a few days.