Conveniences Sorely Needed: Montana's Historic Highway Bridges, 1860-1956
HISTORIC BRIDGE BOOK FOCUSES ON PRESERVATION
Conveniences Sorely Needed: Montana's Historic Highway Bridges, 1860-1956, by Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) historian Jon Axline reflects both the utilitarian and the unifying nature of Montana's bridges. Montana's historic highway bridges are symbols of the cooperative spirit that led to the economic and social stability of communities throughout the Big Sky Country for over a century.
According to Axline "Local communities that these bridges have served for decades often develop a sense of attachment to them, especially among the generation of Montanans who remember their construction. This book is especially important since it documents the history of the hundreds of bridges that have already been replaced or are scheduled for renovation.
From the delightful ornateness of the Fort Benton Bridge to the modern lines of the Fred Robinson Bridge in the Missouri Breaks, Montana's bridges are beautiful. Conveniences Sorely Needed is richly illustrated with over 80 historic and contemporary photographs, many of them by Missoula artist Kristi Hager. With a degree in architecture, and a long-held interest in historic buildings and their preservation, Hager is a well-known member of both the arts and preservation communities in Montana. "Kristi's photographs enhance the book's narrative and offer readers a great visual reference to the bridges and their construction, Axline said.
Axline's book is about more than just bridges; it also records Montana's transportation history in a brand new way and fosters an awareness of the importance of historic preservation. It is essential reading for any Montanan interested in how his or her community has changed since territorial days.
Conveniences Sorely Needed is a 174-page book that includes more than 80 illustrations, sells for $22.00 (paper), and is available at bookstores across the state as well as the Montana Historical Society museum store , 1-800-243-9900.