Weather Station - Savenac Nursery Historic District - Haugan, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 47° 23.147 W 115° 23.775
11T E 621044 N 5249282
Quick Description: In operation continuously from 1919 until at least 1969, this simple weather station recorded temperature, precipitation and possibly relative humidity.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 10/4/2017 10:06:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMWR0N
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
Views: 2

Long Description:
Started in 1907 by Elers Koch, then supervisor of the Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests, Savenac Nursery was named for the one time owner of the land, a German settler named Savennach. Savennach abandoned the homestead, for reasons unknown, and Koch saw it as an excellent location for a tree nursery, on a major road with railroads nearby, with ample flat land and access to water for irrigation. Irrigation water was available from three separate waterways, Savenac Creek, Big Creek, and the St. Regis River, as well as two sloughs. It happened that Koch located the abandoned homestead while traveling the Mullan Road to the west coast on his honeymoon.

By 1908 there were nine buildings or structures at the Nursery, all destroyed two years later by the The Great Fire of 1910, which burned not only the nursery, but many other towns in Idaho and Montana, also claiming a total of 85 lives, 78 of them firefighters unable to escape the fast moving fire.

Rebuilding began that winter, with the nursery being completely rebuilt and repopulated with the structures and buildings necessary for its operation. In 1932 a complete renovation of the nursery began, seeing the replacement of all existing buildings and a great many other structures. All of this construction took place using CCC labour, taking place between 1932 and 1948. As a result, the only pre 1930 contributing objects which remain are the Weatherstation, first installed in 1919, the Yellowstone Trail Bridge, built in 1919-1920, a House and Garage Foundation from the 1920s and the Mullan Road/Yellowstone Trail, which passes through, first built 1859 and upgraded in 1914. The majority of the extant buildings are from the late 1930s.

Savenac became the largest tree nursery in the northwest, producing up to twelve million trees annually. Savenac Nursery remained operational until reorganization in the forestry department resulted in its closure in 1969. The buildings remain in excellent condition with some, the bunkhouse, cookhouse and the west cottage, available to rent in the summer months.

Today the historic district consists of 10 Buildings, 6 Sites, 16 Structures and 2 Objects, for a total of 34 contributing objects. As the Registration Form states: "Savenac Nursery contains features that are not typically counted in National Register nominations. These include the seed and transplant beds and the formal landscape plantings of exotic specimen trees such as the Siberian larch behind the Administration Building and the two sugar maples in front of the Administration Building. These features and the overall layout and organization of the site are important parts of the integrity of design, setting, feeling, and association for this property".

Possibly the oldest contributing object in the nursery, the weather station was first put into operation in 1919. Though the description (below) states that an anemometer and rain gauge reside in a louvered box, in the box is a thermometer, not an anemometer, and the rain gauge is the freestanding vertical black pipe about 6 inches in diameter. Also, they are now on display, as can be seen in the photos, and no longer in storage. The thermometer is probably of the type which records daily highs and lows, requiring a manual reset daily. The rain gauge, similarly, is of the type which must be read and emptied after each rain. There may have been a hygrometer or psychrometer in the louvered box, as well.

The Weather Station is stop number 10 on the interpretive trail map below, at the southeast corner of the arboretum and straight west of the welcome centre/administration building.

Weatherstation Weatherstation, 1919. Contributing Structure:
This small enclosure is located between the driveway, the arboretum, and the memorial rock, it is a simple post and pole structure with an anemometer and rain gauge in a louvered box. Currently, the box and the rain gauge are in storage. The poles were replaced in 1996 with like material. The original wire mesh fencing was reused.
From the NRHP Registration Form

Photo goes Here

Name of Historic District (as listed on the NRHP): Savenac Nursery Historic District

Link to page with the Historic District: [Web Link]

100 Savenac Creek Loop Haugan, MT 59842

How did you determine the building to be a contributing structure?: Narrative found on the internet (Link provided below)

Optional link to narrative or database: [Web Link]

NRHP Historic District Waymark (Optional): Not listed

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