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Thread: Taft Montana

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Taft Montana


    wondering if anyone might have some information about Taft, Montana. there is currently nothing left of the town, but i have found conflicting stories about it's demise. i have read that it was completely leveled by the 'big blow-up' forest fire of 1910 and never rebuilt, but have also found record of a small townsite with a hotel and homes that existed until 1962, at which point it was essentially paved over by Interstate 90.

    can anyone shed any light on these conflicting reports?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Montana History magazine had a nice article on the place, I think in a late 1970's - 1980's issue. Lots of pictures, stories, etc. On I-90 there is a sign for the Taxt exit (interchange). You can exit and drive down to....well just a flat unpaved area, now a staging area for the state highway department, for gravel and such. Yes the town was pretty much a main street in the 1960's just off the old highway, with some buildings left, mostly abandoned. The interstate construction went right over where the buildings were on the east side of the main street. So you literally drive right over the site.

    I recall a story about a priest there in the early days, a big but gentle guy who'd make the rounds in that tough town, saving souls and preaching the good word to lost soul ruffians. He was accosted one evening by some drunk toughies leaving a bar. They wanted to rough up a man of the cloth but didn't know he was a former amateur boxing champ in his youth. The story as I recall, the most aggressive one or two got their heads knocked good, so the rest gave him wide berth from then on.

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