As I traveled through Montana in 1984 documenting the state for its historic preservation planning, I photographed all sorts of structures. None were more compelling than the 40-foot plus brick silos between the west side of Canyon Ferry Lake and US Highway 12/287 north of Townsend.
At that time, they were the only remnants of the ranching operation of A. B. Cook, constructed about 1920 as he and his ranch hands were raising sheep along a stretch of the Missouri River. The construction of Canyon Ferry Dam in the 1950s forever changed that landscape, but the silos were an important reminder of the earlier past.
Thirty-seven years later, the Silos are no longer just lonely reminders of a sheep ranch. They are the landmarks for a lake-focused suburb of Townsend. The community embraces the brick structures and has recently carried out preservation and restoration. May The Silos remain a landmark along this federal highway for generations to come.