1916: First Train Arrives in Fairfield, Montana

Timing is everything, right.

It certainly was when recently, Mrs. Jody Maxwell stopped by the office with a stack of old photos, one of which we have posted below.

Just about three weeks before she came through out door, I was researching some issues from around 1941 for a story. As I leafed through the pages in one of the bound book I noticed that, over several weeks, the Fairfield Times published old photos from Fairfield’s early days.

Among those photos was one that showed the first train arriving in Fairfield in 1916.

I marked those pages, with a plan to come back and see if I could track down the owner of those photos and scan them - so that there would be a permanent record.

I kept what I had come across in that old book on my mind, knowing that, eventually, I would have some time  - maybe I would put a note in the Sun Times asking if anyone know of the photos.

When Mrs. Maxwell came in and handed me her family photos, I was stunned. She had the originals of every one of the photos that were published all those many decades ago... and even more!

I scanned the photos for the Fairfield Historical Society, and below is the photo that is marked “Fairfield. 1916 First Trains Arriving.

If you take a look, pay attention to where the photographer is standing - he is standing on the roof of a railroad car to take the photo.

The Fairfield Historical Society has been very fortunate, as the people in and around Fairfield have been so generous with allowing us to preserve their photos. But the Society has also received books, farm equipment and other donations. As the society gets organized, all that support will be recognized.

In the meantime, if you have an interest in the history of Fairfield and the surrounding community, please attend the next Historical Society meeting.