In my exploration of the Montana landscape, it has been very interesting to do comparative photography–what has changed in almost 30 years. Today’s case studies are of a streetscape in Helmville, a rural village in Powell County, and the Hecla smelter stack from Glendale.
The wood building in the foreground had lost the shed addition, and the smaller squarish wood frame building next to it had disappeared. But considering the nature of the building materials, the isolation of the town, and the fact that a state highway (Montana 271) passes right in front of these buildings, it is rather remarkable that so little has changed at Helmville.
The same is true of Glendale. This isolated place in southwest Montana has changed even less than what had happened at Helmville. The black and white view is from the May 1984–the same view from May 2012 shows that this smelter ruin is still a compelling artifact of the impact of mining and industry on the Montana landscape.