Built in 1914 by the Great Northern Railroad, the Sperry Chalet in the Lake McDonald region of Glacier National Park has succumbed to the Sprague Fire.
The park service had evacuated the building prior and a crack team of firefighters was stationed there to try and save the building. Pumps were set up to douse the structure with water, a fireproof wrap was placed around the base, and helicopters were also aiding in the effort. But a few days ago a strong wind picked up that drove the fire so aggressively that even these efforts were not enough. The firefighters are safe.
Of the 9 structures that the railroad built from 1910-1915, one was lost to avalanche, another by fire, and 5 were removed by the service in the 1940's because they had deteriorated so badly from the sever winters. Sperry and Granite Park chalets were built from native stone and were the last two standing. The Glacier NP Conservancy has discussed rebuilding the structure, but no firm plans are set at this time.
We, Harley and Abby, are the parents of 4 boys whom we regularly drag into any and every national park we come near to. We love our parks and know that the only chance we have of keeping and maintaining this priceless resource is to give our children a love of them too.