In 2020, the Main Boulder Ranger Station, 30 miles south of Big Timber, Montana, had to close due to the Corona Virus Pandemic.

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From NBC Montana, instead of letting it be while it was closed, the US Forest Service decided it was time to do some repairs and cleaning and get it back to it's historic glory.  The Historic Main Boulder Ranger Station opened it's doors again on July first through fourth this year.

Youtube//NBC Montana//Canva
Youtube//NBC Montana//Canva

The History of the Main Boulder Ranger Station

From USDA Forest Service:

In 1891, the United States Congress passed the Forest Reserve Act, which allowed President Benjamin Harrison to set aside ("reserve") portions of the public domain for the protection of the natural resources. On March 30 of that year, the President established the nation’s first Forest Reserve, the "Yellowstone Park Timberland Reserve". This first Reserve was created, in part, to secure a protective buffer around Yellowstone National Park. Ultimately, the Main Boulder area became part of the Absaroka Division of the Yellowstone Forest Reserve.

The Legacy of Harry Kaufman

From USDA Forest Service:  In 1903 Harry Kaufman took a job as a Guard Ranger  in the Absaroka Division of the forest.  To secure the job, Kaufman had to provide 2 horses, riding and pack outfits and camp equipment along with being on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  All that for $60 a month salary.

In 1905, Kaufman built the permanent Ranger Station at the main Boulder Ranger Station sight.  From there, he managed about 300,000 acres.

Eventually Kaufman married and there were additions made to the ranger station to accommodate his family.  All in all, Kaufman lived in the ranger station for around 40 years.

Youtube//NBC Montana//Canva
Youtube//NBC Montana//Canva

Restoration Begins

In 1991 the Forest Service began their preservation and restoration paying close attention to historic details.  The work has been a labor of love.  Now the ranger station is eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

When Can I Visit?

The station is open weekends through Labor Day from 10 am to 4 pm.  At other times, you're free to explore.

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