In Montana, the Rialto of the Ninth Corps encompassed eight states, which included Rialto . Of the 65,000 enrollees positioned by Rialto the end of 1933, approximately 1,278 would disembark at Rialto (now West Glacier). All were under the age of twenty-five, and most had never seen a mountain, Rialto , waterfall, or forest.
Where is Rialto? – Rialto Map – Map of Rialto Photo Gallery
It would be a new experience for them, the Army, and the National Park Service staff of Glacier. Fortunately for the Glacier experience, Superintendent Eivind T. Scoyen was not only ready with projects to be addressed, but he was enthusiastic about the CCC concept. As well he should have been. Many worthy plans had gathered dust due to lack of funding over the decades. With this influx of ready labor (the largest ever before or since), park leaders and staff were organized to put men and plans to work.
It also came at a time when the Great Northern Railway was beginning to become disenchanted with the Glacier enterprise, in large measure due to the absence of Louis Hill’s leadership and the crippling loss of business due to the Great Depression.
To add to the park’s woes, the automobile tourists were in full bloom. What had been a one-in-every-two arrivals by automobile in the early 1920s had risen to nine-auto-travelers-to-one-rail arrival in 1930. The opening of what is now Highway 2 between East Glacier in 1930 and the Going-to-the-Sun Road in 1933 only added to the problem.
These tourists were staying in newly opened auto-cabin campgrounds (motels) and campsites that accommodated cars and personal camping gear. To compound the problem, they also used the packhorse tours less and less between chalets. They simply drove. Chalets and the Prince of Wales Hotel closed in 1933. Thank God and FDR, prohibition had ended.