Get started by completing a
Guidelines for Explorers: Good
explorers are intelligent; Get smart by practicing the 5 mental habits
of highly intelligent explorers.
Using the ALERT Research Process to plan a
local learning expedition.
The ALERT web, for planning and carrying
through classroom expeditionary projects.
Learning As Story: Understanding the
ALERT process by looking at the Lewis and Clark Expedition's approach to
The 1910s were a time of great change for America. It was the decade
when the United States was first considered a world leader. Many of the
issues we face today were important including the escalating of
immigration and poverty, labor and monopoly battles, work safety and
child labor problems. People met enormous problems often with great
confidence. Between 1900 and 1914 over thirteen million people left
Europe hoping for a new life in the United States the greatest
voluntary migration in history.
In Montana, the homestead boom
kicked into high gear, triggered by the enlarged Homestead Act
(1909) which authorized settlers to claim 320 acres of nonirrigable,
nonmineral lands having no merchantable timber. To claim land, settlers
had to establish residency for five years with continuous cultivation of
other than native grasses.
Photo: (Detail) Oxen pulling a
grain drill: a welcome break in a long day, stopping for lunch and a
chat with mom and the youngsters. Date: 191-? The woman and two
children are seated on a Monitor grain drill which is hitched to an oxen
team. Fred Hultstrand History in Pictures Collection, NDIRS-NDSU,
|The Great Northern, the Northern
Pacific, and the Burlington railroads had built their roads but
needed to sell land to create markets. In 1910, they all had
exhibit cars touring the Midwest and the East, extolling the rich
soils and glorious climate of Montana. They even sent
representatives to Europe. Bankers, merchants, and land dealers
joined the effort to lure settlers to the Montana prairies.
North Coast Limited, leaving Missoula, Montana
By 1910, over one fourth of
Montana's population was foreign-born, with the largest numbers
coming from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and Germany. In years immediately
after 1910, the homestead boom drew thousands more from Scandinavia and
Firefighter W.W. Morris stands on a downed tree near the mouth
of a tunnel in northern Idaho where firefighters took refuge from
one of the August 1910 wildfires
|Forest fires raged
through the western part of the state, burning over 3 million
acres in Idaho and Montana alone. Whole towns were
incinerated. Eighty-five people were killed, including 78
firefighters, dozens of them burned alive. Smoke drifted across
the country, darkening the skies so much that street lights
remained on all day in Watertown, N.Y.
The fire (actually over 1700 different
fires) became known as The Big Blowup and so shocked the nation
that Congress voted to spend federal money to fight forest
fires. The fires stopped only when rain and snow began falling
on August 23.
The Anaconda Copper Mining
Company was formed out of the older Amalgamated Copper Mining
Company, which had been formed by Standard Oil from several mining
concerns in 1899. The new company was the giant of the world copper
industry and dominated Montana's economy for decades.
Main Street, Butte, Montana circa 1906
The bill creating Glacier
National Park was signed on May 11, 1910, by President Taft, partly
with lands purchased from the Blackfeet Tribe. George Bird Grinnel,
editor of Forest and Stream magazine, declared the area "The
Crown of the Continent." He had lobbied for the Park's creation for ten
years. William Logan, the park's first superintendent was faced with
forest fires burning over 100,000 acres, covering nearly every corner of
The "Big Ditch" was completed
in the Bitterroot Valley. This was the main channel of the valley's
irrigation system. The apple industry was booming.
The U. S. Government established
the Bureau of Reclamation in 1902 to help the arid West by storing water
in reservoirs and constructing irrigation systems. The agency has built
more than 600 dams and reservoirs.
The great bison herds
of the American West began a comeback
with the organization of the National Bison Range within the Flathead
Reservation. Tens of millions of bison lived on the Great Plains during
the 1900s, but by 1900 only 20 wild bison were known to exist.
The national movement
for the preservation of the buffalo began with the American Bison
Society in 1905. Attention centered on Flathead Indian Reservation
because allotment of reservation lands was about to make land available
for sale. Congress created the National Bison Range in 1908 at the
request of President Theodore Roosevelt. Children throughout the nation
donated nickels and dimes to purchase bison. Thirty-seven bison were
brought to the range during 1909 and 1910.
Though new modern
manufacturing, banking, and transportation systems created enormous
wealth, and the world was full of new wonders, for many
people, life remained a hard struggle with basic realities.
Playing cards inside a teepee on the Flathead
Indian Reservation. [between 1905 and 1907?] Photographer:
Edward H. Boos.
Margaret Bramer (later Mrs. Otto Hanson) in
her homestead shack near Cottonwood Creek, Mellette County, White
River, South Dakota, 190?. Fred
Hultstrand History in Pictures Collection, NDIRS-NDSU, Fargo.