Historic lodge built by James J. Hill burns down in wildfire

The site was lost despite a "valiant stand" by firefighters.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

A part of James J. Hill's legacy has been lost to a wildfire in Montana's Glacier National Park.

The Sperry Chalet was built near Lake McDonald in 1913 by the Minnesota-based magnate Hill and his son Louis, whose Great Northern Railway played a major role in the creation of the park, the property's website says.

It went on to become a hotel and a historic landmark, but on Thursday, authorities announced that it had burned down in the ongoing Sprague Fire.

This is despite a "valiant stand" by a "highly skilled group of firefighters" to save the structure, an update from U.S forest officials says. Not helping were high wind that kicked up in the afternoon, and the fact that the chalet can only be reached by trail.

Fortunately, no firefighters were hurt. 

The Sprague Fire has been burning since Aug. 10, and is believed to have been started by lightning or some other natural cause. So far, it has torn through more than 3,000 acres. 

Nonetheless, "most areas of the park are open and operating as usual," officials say. 

The Missoulian notes that the Sperry site was one of the park's two "backcountry chalets."

It made the National Register of Historic Places list in 1977, the Associated Press reports

More about J.J. Hill

A towering figure in Minnesota history, James J. Hill is credited with "greatly expanding railways into the U.S. Northwest during the late 19th century."

You can visit his massive home, known as the James J. Hill House, on St. Paul's Summit Avenue. 

Next Up

rowdi lab missing

Twin Cities man going to great lengths to find beloved dog, missing in northern MN

He's hoping drone operators can help him locate Rowdi, his yellow lab.

Hennepin County Government Center

Some Hennepin County Government Center services will be unavailable during Chauvin's trial

Access to the building will be limited during the trail, which begins March 8.

Street sweeper

Driver, 19, killed in collision with street sweeper

It happened Thursday evening near Thief River Falls.

famous dave's

Famous Dave's to launch its first 'line service' restaurant in the Twin Cities

The new model of restaurant will open in September in Coon Rapids.

State Capitol.

Minnesota's budget outlook improves, now projecting $1.6B surplus

The state was projecting a $1.3 billion deficit in November.

warroad ice road

2.5 mile skating path through Warroad was a hit, now there's an effort to keep it

The "Riverbender Crew" is hoping to buy new equipment to maintain the path this season, and for years to come.

Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 10.10.55 AM

Officers identified in fatal shooting of suspect in Isanti County

Three officers were identified in the police chase that ended with one suspect being shot and a police dog being injured.

House for sale

Zillow to start making offers on Twin Cities homes based off its 'Zestimates'

The Twin Cities property market is seriously hot right now.

Hennepin County Medical Center, HCMC

Man killed in early morning crash on Minneapolis' Cedar Avenue

Minneapolis police responded to the crash at 2600 Cedar Avenue South early Friday morning.

ambulance

2 killed in separate incidents in Minneapolis hours apart Thursday

One man was killed in a triple shooting, the other fatally stabbed in an apparent domestic incident.

Related

Yep, that's a wildfire you're smelling in the air today

And it could pose health concerns for some.

wayzata

Wayzata's James J. Hill Days is canceled due to COVID-19

The Wayzata Beach Bash concert is also canceled.

Historic Minnesota church burns down in fire Sunday night

The 160-year-old church was completely destroyed.

Lola on the Lake

Historic pavilion at Bde Maka Ska to be torn down after fire

The decision comes after Lola on the Lake burned down on Thursday.