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Montana Hi-Line, History and Great Northern RR Books

Downtown Chester, Montana
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There are not that many books or other media available about the Hi-Line, most likely owing to the areas relatively out of the way location and thin population.

This page consists of various books about the Hi-Line region specifically, the Great Northern Railroad, or books that provide good information about the Hi-Line along with other info about Montana.

For ease of browsing, the page is divided into 4 sections, depending on the theme of the book. The following themes are covered : Hi-Line and General Montana History Books, Great Northern Railroad History Books, Rodeos and Cowboys, and Montana Map Books.

Note! Many of the books shown below are out-of-print, and only available used...if at all. If you are looking for a more "up to date" selection of books about Montana, please visit the listings of various Montana Related Books on this site (which cover Montana Travel Guides, Glacier Nat'l Park, Yellowstone Park, Fishing Info, Montana Hiking Guides and more). I keep this page up so people have "references" about what books have been written about the Hi-Line region.

All these books are through Amazon.Com.


Montana & Hi-Line History Books

The Hi-Line: Profiles of a Montana Land

Book Information
This is the only definitive book about the Hi-Line region I've been able to find. The book has a ton of information about the histories of the towns in the H-Line region - including most of the small towns. Excellent book for those seeking more information about the Montana Hi-Line.


Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome

Book Information
Written in a unique and enjoyable style, this is a different type of Montana history book. This work looks at this ruggedly diverse and strikingly beautiful state, a land that takes hold and won't let go. "Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome" is widely recognized as a classic history and delightful ode to the restless landscape and lively history of the Treasure State.


Montana: A History of Two Centuries

Book Information
This is what most people would call the "definitive" one-volume history of Montana. Written primarily to serve as a testbook for college-level history courses, this is a comprehensive, balanced, and detailed overview of Montana's fascinating history.


Montana Legacy: Essays on History, People, and Place

Book Information
A rich and varied tapestry, Montana Legacy looks at the people, cultures, places, and events that shaped present-day Montana from Plentywood to Butte, Great Falls to Virginia City, and Billings to Browning. Designed to make you think about Montana history in a new way, this anthology features sixteen essays chosen for their relevance, readability, and scholarship. The volume's editors carefully selected topics that range across two centuries from the fur trade to power deregulation - and expose Montana's cultural and geographical diversity.


Montana Century: 100 Years in Pictures and Words

Book Information
Montana Century chronicles the coming of age of the Treasure State in the twentieth century, going beyond the mere retelling of events to frame the Montana experience within the larger context of the American West, the nation and the world. Destined to become a collector's item, this magnificent book is more than a history. It is a poignant evocation of a beautiful, often conflicted, and beloved state. Essays by some of the best Montana writers are richly illustrated with more than 300 historical and contemporary photographs.


Hope in Hard Times: New Deal Photographs of Montana, 1936-1942

Book Information
A look at Montana, in photographs, during the Great Depression years. Photographs of all counties are included.


Honyocker Dreams: Montana Memories

Book Information
Beginning with his father’s reminiscences as he surveys the Montana landscape, Mogen weaves a narrative of memory and history, of the dreams and disappointments of working-class farmers, cowboys, and miners among his ancestors, and of the post-frontier world of Indian reservations and farming towns that endure on the Montana “Hi-Line,” the flat expanse of Big Sky country that lies hard against the Canadian border east of the Rockies.


Great Northern Railroad History Books

Great Northern Railway in the Pacific Northwest (Golden Years of Railroading)

Book Information
This is a book that covers the Great Northern Railway in detail. It looks at it's history and also has numerous photographs.


The Great Northern Railway: A History (Great Northern Railway)

Book Information
In the sprawling Northwest, from the upper Mississippi River valley to Puget Sound, no railroad shaped the landscape and society like the Great Northern Railway Company. This is the complete history of that enterprise, from 1856, when the first charter was granted, through the era of James J. Hill—known as the Empire Builder—to its maturation and eventual merger in 1970, when the eight-thousand-mile Great Northern was incorporated into the massive Burlington Northern.


Profiting from the Plains: The Great Northern Railway and Corporate Development of the American West

Book Information
Profiting from the Plains looks at two inextricably linked historical movements in the United States: the westward expansion of the great Northern Railway and the agricultural development of the northern plains. Claire Strom explores the persistent, idiosyncratic attempts by the Great Northern to boost agricultural production along its rail routes from St. Paul to Seattle between 1878 and 1917. Lacking a federal land grant, the Great Northern could not make money through land sales like other railways. It had to rely on haulage to make a profit, and the greatest potential for increasing haulage lay in farming.


James J. Hill and the Opening of the Northwest (Borealis Books)

Book Information
James J. Hill (1838-1916), the Empire Builder, created a vast railroad network across the northwestern United States. In this splendid biography, Martin, the first researcher to have access to Hill's voluminous correspondence, richly portrays a man of many parts: an entrepreneur, a family man, a collector of notable French paintings, a promoter of scientific agriculture, and a booster for the Northwest.


Cowboy & Rodeo Books

The Montana Cowboy, 2nd

Book Information
This elegant book pays tribute to the cattleman's way of life, and ultimately, the Montana cowboy. These mixed-luck, big-hearted folks have been galloping along the ranges of the Big Sky State, pushing cattle for over a hundred years. Through the lens of David R. Stoecklein, these cowboys-with their rich culture and untamed country- triumphantly come into focus to show the world what they are all about. Featuring over thirty of Montana's grandest ranches including the Padlock, the Cornwell, and the Binion, along with the roughest rodeos and some of our country's most magnificent scenery, this book is a standing ovation to Montana and its people.


Montana: Hometown Rodeo

Book Information
Stirring black-and-white photographs of spectators and participants provide an unsentimental, hometown view of Montana's small-town rodeo circuit. For anyone who ever wanted to be a cowgirl or cowboy -- or for anyone just in love with the West -- this book will bring to you the sound of pounding hooves, the slap of leather, the smell of dust and of cheering crowds.


Map Books

If you plan on venturing off US Highway 2 in your visit to the Hi-Line region, getting a "map book" is essential, as these books show all topographic features as well as every road. Venturing off the main highway with only a state issued highway map (which are nice for their use) is a recipe to get lost!

Montana Atlas & Gazetteer (Montana Atlas & Gazetteer)

Book Information
An absolute "must have" book for anyone who plans on exploring any of the roads off of US Highway 2. Shows the lakes, rivers, back roads, trails and much more.

As an alternative to the Gazetteer, also available is the Benchmark Montana Road & Recreation Atlas. You don't need both of these, but adventurers absolutely need one of them!

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