The purpose of this section is to give the student access to all primary and secondary resources for Unit 2.6: Railroads link Montana to the Nation - 1881 to 1915.
"Alma Coffin captured the rigors of early passenger travel in Montana in this account, likely based on a diary she kept during a trip she took years earlier. In the summer of 1878, she and two of her sisters journeyed from the family home in Mankato, Minnesota, to visit their father, who had taken employment as a mine superintendent at Glendale. By river steamer they traveled to Fort Benton where they transferred to horse-drawn stage. The trip was an adventure for the young ladies, but the mud-spattered, windblown, thirty-two hour rides were enough to convert anyone to the advantages of improved transportation and railroads" (Montana Historical Society).
"Railroads changed many things about life in Montana. They not only helped Montana's economy by carrying in machinery and equipment that industrialized the state but they also transformed the social landscape by connecting towns and people together. The railroads however had their critics, including W. R. Sellew, a Great Falls farmer, who stated that the Great Northern laid tracks so close to his house that 'it shakes when they go by'" (Montana Historical Society).