Parker Homestead, Three Forks, MT


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Parker Homestead front view.

Parker Homestead front view.

For many Montana settlers, home was a sod-roofed log cabin. Parker Homestead is a classic example of the austere life these families lived on the western frontier, which was still wild at the turn of the 20th century.  This home was built in 1901 in the Jefferson River valley by Nelson Parker and his wife Rosa Ellen.  

In 1939, they moved in closer to town.  Orville Jewett and his wife Josephine bought the home and raised four kids, living there until the early 1950's.

In 1985 the state of Montana leased the property with plans to display it as an example of its hardy western heritage. Extensive work was done to restore it to its original frontier condition and preserve it that way.  The small 1.7 acre site was a state park until May 2010, when Montana dropped it citing budget concerns. This gorgeous spot is one of the last of its kind.  Hopefully, somebody will step up and take care of it.


View along the back looking out over the valley.

View along the back fence looking out over the Jefferson Valley.

 

 

We stumbled upon the Parker Homestead while geocaching along Highway 2 and on our way to Lewis and Clark Caverns. At 4,147 feet above sea level, the home sits among some cottonwood trees on the banks of a creek that runs behind the house. There is some jack-leg fencing and an old wagon out back by the creek with other farm implements scattered on the nearby prairie. Except for the occasional vehicle on Highway 2, there is nothing else around it but the quiet and beauty of Montana. We were blown away by this place. You can't help but imagine what life was like here, especially the winters. And then to think that there were people still living here in our lifetime.

The park itself had no geocache until recently.  The Parker Homestead geocache  was placed on 6/22/10.

Parker Homestead is one of the few relics left of tougher but simpler times.   It's one of our favorite cool places and is definitely Off The Beaten Path but it may not be around much longer.

The GPS coordinates for the park are 45.845741, -111.676770. Click on the coordinates to bring up an interactive Google Map.

Cheers....The Cachemanian Devils