In 1939 John and Marie Stark built their well-crafted log house in the Cygnet Lake area downstream of Lindbergh Lake. John was a noted craftsman who excelled in constructing log buildings, rustic log furniture, and wood carvings of wildlife. As the daughter of Cap and Tyne Laird, Marie along with her husband John were an integral part of the development and operation of Laird’s Lodge in the late 1920s through the mid-1940s.
USVHS worked closely with Joanne Guyer, present owner of the Stark House, in securing a National Historic Register designation on July 28, 2020. Guyer hosted a tour of her home on August 1, 2023 for USVHS members and Cygnet Lake neighbors.
Read more about the Stark House in the Missoulian.
Leonard Moore, a true Montana cowboy, took his first pack trip before he learned to walk. He rode in the saddle with his mother or in a pannier on the pack string’s lead horse.
Leonard’s parents, George and Fern Moore, ran an outfitting business for about 60 years, working in Glacier National Park and the South Fork of the Flathead (now the Bob Marshall Wilderness). They based operations out of Lion Creek, Holland Lake and the Gordon Ranch in the Swan Valley.
Right: Leonard Moore, 2009. Credit: Suzanne Vernon.
Leonard spent his youth, and later every hunting season, guiding hunters and fishermen into the backcountry. He rode saddle broncs in quite a few rode-os. Long after his last rodeo in 1941, he said, “I don’t think they’ve got that hole filled where I got bucked off.
In 1939, when Leonard was 13, he and family members rounded up 300 head of pack stock in the Bitterroot Valley and delivered them to Ovando and Holland Lake, driving the stock right through downtown Missoula.
Leonard married his teenage sweetheart, Ethel Minster, in 1943. They spent their first summer in the Bob Marshall Wilderness working for a geological survey crew.
Over the years Leonard broke horses and packed for the Forest Service. Each fall he would guide for his parents.
In 1988 after retirement, Leonard and Ethel moved back into their log home in Condon, where Leonard continued to ride and wrangle horses. Through his cowboy poetry, he shared his stories of outfitting, packing and hunting.
Indian Time host Tony Incashola's program talks about the Swan Massacre in 1908. Salish Elder Joe Eneas was recorded in 1988 for the documentary, The Place of the Falling Waters, and is featured in this program talking about what he knew about the Swan Massacre.
Episode recorded October 30, 2001.
William Robert 'Bud' Moore (1917-2010) was a well-known Montana forester, trapper, conservationist, and author of The Lochsa Story: Land Ethics in the Bitterroot Mountains.
The archival collection of Bud Moore is available at the Mansfield Library at the University of Montana. The collection includes personal journals, photographs, research files, interviews, correspondence and other materials created by and about the late forester, conservationist and longtime resident of the Swan Valley.
Left, Bud Moore at his home, Coyote Forest. Credit: John Fraley.
In 1947, Marion "Mame" (Holmes) and Louie Krause, opened the Swan River Tavern across from the present-day Liquid Louie's bar. They had started ‘The Beer Parlor’ the year before in a shed next to their house. Business was good and they decided to expand by turning their house into the Swan River Tavern. Louie and Mame recognized the need to provide a place for the local residents to socialize and relax. After World War II, the local population expanded. The Wineglass Mill located on the Gordon Ranch and other lumber mills were taking advantage of the country’s building boom. Improved road conditions factored in to the logging and lumber boom as materials could now be transported economically.
Right: Louie Krause
Mary Lou Krause Wilhelm and family, including Becky and Troy Smith and Lory and Denny Secord visit the Swan River Tavern exhibit, June 2023. Image credit: Helene Michael