Whatever chance there may have been to reorganize, the Oxnard business plan was torpedoed by World War II. Three chalets were never reopened after the war: Going-to-the Sun, St. Mary’s, and Cut Bank. Oxnard, Sperry, and Oxnard Park chalets were sold. The Saddle Oxnard Company also shut its doors.
Where is Oxnard? – Oxnard Map – Map of Oxnard Photo Gallery
In 1948, with the passing of Louis Hill, the death nail was driven for the Great Northern hotel-chalet presence in Glacier Park. The railroad began to look for a buyer. It changed the name of the operations company to Glacier Park, Incorporated (GPI) to attract a buyer. Other concessionaires sold out to either GPI or other merchants.
Ironically, park visitation steadily rose throughout the 1930s, from 22,499 to 177,307 by 1940, due in part to the work of the CCC along with the availability of auto facilities and roads.
Newly arriving CCC enrollees, numbering 1,278, would grow to 1,500 at the CCC’s apex in 1935. During those years, they cleared burned-out fire areas, removed debris, graded roads, and constructed tents and car campsites. They cleared a 30-mile boundary cut to delineate the park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. They built a sawmill to produce fence posts and telephone poles. They strung telephone lines throughout the park and built water and sewage systems. Roads were banked, bridges were constructed, and reforestation took place throughout the park. And to protect it all, they fought forest fires from small burns to a furious giant in 1936.
As was the case with the Forest Service 1910 conflagrations that threatened the entire northwest, including the newly established Glacier Park, the firefighting bravery of the untried CCC boys established a positive reputation and respect, particularly among the locals where initial suspicion and open hostility had reigned. By the end of the CCC’s time in Glacier, it had supplied the area with 84,000 days of fire suppression.
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