West Valley Pioneer: Edmond Levi Kelley

by Jeanine Buettner

Edmond Kelley was born in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, on April 18, 1860 and was educated and lived in Pennsylvania until coming to Montana in 1885, first locating in Butte and then moving to the Flathead Valley in 1887. He spent his first night in Somers. He was told that the valley farther up had some value as a range for cattle but of no value for farming. The next day he walked to the site that would later become Demersville.

Continue Reading →

Barns are Noble

By Skip Via

If you came here looking for the latest Harry Potter book, you probably should go to Barnes & Noble.

But if you came here because you, like me, can’t pass a barn without thinking about the stories behind it and the practical structural aesthetics of the building, then welcome. I have a thing for barns—old, new, and falling down.

This is just an uncommented photo essay—some images taken around the valley (and slightly beyond, in a couple of cases)—and not a history. But I hope that any readers that know anything about any of these barns will leave a comment and tell us a story.

This is part one of a photo essay series of West Valley barns. You may view the other parts here:
Barns, Part Two
Barns, Part Three
Barns, Part Four
Barns, Part Five

Continue Reading →

The Keller Homestead

by Jeanine Beuttner, with photos from Pat Jaquith
nammy@montanasky.com, pat@westvalleynaturalists.org

Editor’s note: Pat Jaquith came across a barn wood reclamation team dismantling an old pump house on Spring Creek Road. Pat contacted Jeanine Beuttner for more information and learned that this property was established by Jeanine’s great grandparents, Charles and Rosalia Keller. Jeanine graciously offered us this fascinating historical vignette.
Continue Reading →

The Kuhns Homestead

by Skip Via, with Jeanine Buettner

General Information

The Kuhns homestead consists of farmland and several original buildings erected along a small creek across Farm To Market Road from the Pig Farm state land area. It is managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the purpose of wildlife protection. The homestead is an important winter wildlife area because old growth Douglas fir provides food as well as tree wells for browsing on Oregon grape for deer and other wildlife.  It is also at the perfect elevation–not too high and not in the creek bed, which is where the cold gathers in winter.

Continue Reading →