The Oily Boid Gets the Woim

A narrow gauge railroad, nicknamed the "turkey track," used to connect Great Falls, Montana, and Lethbridge, Alberta. When the main line of the Great Northern crossed it in 1891, Shelby Junction came into existence. The hills and plains around here were cow country. The Junction became an oasis where parched cow-punchers cauterized their tonsils with forty-rod and grew plumb irresponsible and ebullient.

In 1910 the dry-landers began homesteading. They built fences and plowed under the native grass. The days of open range were gone. Shelby quit her swaggering frontier ways and became concrete sidewalk and sewer system conscious.

Dry-land farming didn't turn out to be such a profitable endeavor, but in 1921 geologists discovered that this country had an ace in the hole. Oil was struck between here and the Canadian line, and the town boomed again.

"The Oily Boid Gets the Woim." The Hi-Line and the Yellowstone Trail: To Glacier Park and Back Again. 1 Sept. 2004. Lacus Veris. 21 Jul. 2024 < Hi-Line and the Yellowstone Trail/The Big Sky/Marker: Shelby, MT 2004-07-30 22.13.00.shtml>. Last modified 6 Oct. 2015. Served 5700 times between 16 May. 2010 and 20 Jul. 2024. Contact