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Sam Bacharach is the winner!

Powell Ranger Station is the answer for Clearwater History Trivia #616, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: Changed many times

Tuesday: Has a long history

Wednesday: Nez Perce used the area

Thursday: Held promise

Friday: Good soil for hay and gardening

Saturday: Near a proposed rail line

Monday: 42.5 acres

Tuesday: Lochsa River

Powell Ranger Station has seen a revolving door of ownership. Early on, the area along the Lochsa River was used as a waypoint along the way to buffalo prairies further east. Lewis and Clark slept there, according to an article in the Missoulian. They also reported that it was used as a base for fire lookouts, smoke chasers and trail crews.

On the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Facebook page it speaks of the different forests that the area passed between, before and after the Northern Pacific Railway deeded the 42.5 acres to the government in 1944. That ended the lease situation that it had been used under. Powell Ranger Station was original part of the Clearwater National Forest, then the Selway, then the Lolo and finally back to the Clearwater.

It was recommended for use in 1909 by forest service personnel. It had little in the way of improvements, only an abandoned trapper cabin noted during the Deputy Forest Supervisor Ed Thenon's Sept. 8 site. But he felt it held great promise. There was a good site for a garden, hay field and pasture. It was near the line of proposed Bitterroot Railway. A creek also ran through the tract furnishing sufficient water.

When the Selway was carved from part of the Clearwater, two men built a two-story L-shaped log building with a shake roof. By November, the inside walls were hewed in good shape and the building nearly chinked. The plan was to work on window and door frames and flooring, along with other inside work during the winter. The area, roughly 30-acres was thereafter placed into regular service for the Selway NF. In 1915-16 General Land Office surveyed the Lochsa country they found that the property actually was Northern Pacific Railway grant land which put the area into several years of uncertainty until the deed was transferred in 1944.

In 1961, the Powell Ranger Station was transferred from the Lolo back to the Clearwater, its original home.

Today, it also has a nearby campground.

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