Sunday, April 9, 2017

Roy Montana 1914

Roy is a small town NE of Lewistown Montana off Hwy 191. I became familiar with it when we would come here hunting antelope, deer and birds in the late 60's/early 1970's. At that time the Roy branch of the Milwaukee Roads North Montana Division terminated here, the rails were still in place, as well was the depot, and of course, a wye to turn the motive power. At the age I loved trains but didn't appreciate what I was seeing in the Milwaukee Road. It wasn't until years later, as an adult who had long left my Montana home for prosperity, began to think about those days, and the little town in Fergus County, with Black Butte in the distance. We always camped at the Roy Park, in a 1970 Ford F-250 with a Bell cabover camper. The park provided an outhouse and fresh water, up the street, the Roy Bar provided other necessities. As an adult I wondered about a railroad that would build a line to such a little town. I learned of the term "grainger railroad", and also the Milwaukee Road. I have searched for years for historic photographs of this town with the its railroad, depot and a wye. Finally, they were discovered from the Montana Memory Project website, whom I credit with having these wonderful photographs. 

I quite understand that much of the subjects of my blog may be of interest to me only, but an interest it is, and I hope some find this information helpful. Thanks for Reading- Dean

The entire town 1914

Building the line to Roy, 1914

The first full picture I have seen of the depot back in 1914.


  1. Thank you so much for this. Just yesterday I returned home from a trip to Roy in search of the homestead my gr-grandparents had 23 miles east of Roy. I found the property which was very moving. However when I pulled into Roy and saw the train depot I was blown away. My grandmother had always claimed that they arrived by train to Roy in 1913 and I always assumed she meant Lewistown. Well I should have know she was right all along. Your blog had greatly enriched my Roy experience. Thank you again.

  2. S. Coffey
    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this post, you have made my day!

  3. I was raised at the Red Barn ranch south of Roy at the base of Black Butte. Later I spent my teen years at the Roy Grocery. Love the pictures of my home town Steve Woodard

    1. Steve
      That's great!!
      I have many great memories back in the early 1970's of hunting at the base of Black Butte, tooling around the BLM land in a 1970 Ford pickup with a cabover camper in search of antelope, deer and foul. As you already know, it's a magic place to be raised in Montana.
      I'm glad to you like the post.

  4. I always wondered what it looked like back then. What a joy to actually see pictures of Roy, MT! Thanks for sharing!