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C.A. Broadwater

A Montana Name Everyone Knew

Text by Suzanne Waring

Broadwater, photographed in 1880 at his home in Fort Assiniboine, held the construction and sulfur contracts for both Fort Assiniboine and Fort Maginnis. Photo provided by F.J. Haynes, photographers, Haynes Foundation Collections, MHS Photograph Archives

Unlike other well-known pioneers of north central Montana, Charles A. Broadwater was never the object of satirical remarks in regional newspapers. He was even called colonel by everyone, not because he had been a colonel in the military but because he had earned this Southern title out of courtesy from others. His parents had been part of the Virginia aristocracy. The soil on their plantation had played out over the years, forcing Broadwater’s father to leave the land of his heritage and to purchase a cotton plantation (some biographers called it a rocky farm) near St. Louis, Missouri, where Broadwater was born.

Charles A. Broadwater in about 1885. Photography by Taylor, Helena, MHS Photograph Archives

When he was sixteen years old, Broadwater left school and worked in a large St. Louis mercantile house. Although he received a business background there, this kind of work was too confining for the adventure- some young man. He headed for the gold fields out West in 1862 and ended up in Bannack and Virginia City.
Choosing to make a living other than in placer mining, he and John S. Pemberton struck out into Blackfeet country that fall. Although dangerous because the Blackfeet hated white men, the two found a large camp, boldly rode in, and negotiated the sale of a large number of horses. Driving the horses south, they were struck by a blizzard. Continuing to push forward in the most adverse conditions, they lost many of the horses but finally ended up near Warm Springs Creek where they spent the remainder of the winter. In 1863, He and Pemberton, who later settled in the Deer Lodge Valley, laid out a town they called Cottonwood, where Deer Lodge stands today. One winter day two fellows, Moore and Reeves, who had been exiled from Virginia City by the vigilantes, showed up and built a wickiup that provided almost no protection from the weather. Moore fell sick and would have died except that Broadwater took him in and nursed him back to health. In the future, that kindness was to be a life saver for Broadwater too. The next spring Broadwater bought up cattle in the Deer Lodge valley and drove them to Bannack to sell. Getting ready to return to the Deer Lodge valley with close to $5000 worth of gold dust in his waist belt, Broadwater was stopped on the street by Moore, who had been allowed back into Bannack. He told Broadwater not to tell anyone when he was leaving town because road agents knew of the fortune hew as carrying. “They are planning on robbing and killing you,” Moore said. Broadwater left town that evening and rode until early hours of the morning when he made camp and allowed his horse to rest. He fastened the rope tied to his horse to his wrist, laid down on the grass, and went to sleep. A pull on his wrist awakened him. Lying very still, he saw an Indian crawling on the ground toward him. Broadwater took aim with his rifle and shot the Indian. The Indian rose up from being wounded and ran into the brush. Later Broadwater rode into the Deer Lodge valley and was beginning to feel safe. Rounding a curve in the trail, he came onto the camp fire of Cooper and Ives, known to be the toughest road agents in Montana. Since he knew them, they acted glad to see him and said they would ride to Deer Lodge with him. To his advantage, they were not saddled up and their horses were grazing afield. He told them that since his horse was tired, he would walk on, but they could catch up with him. As soon as he was out of sight, he spurred his horse into a run to a settler’s cabin twenty miles away with the two of them racing behind him. His horse was so tired that it dropped when he arrived. By that time, the two road agents were only 150 yards behind. Again everyone acted as if they had a friendly race. Ives volunteered make flapjacks for breakfast, bragging that he was an expert. Broadwater went out with the settler to check the stock, and it was then that Broadwater was able to explain his dilemma. The settler sold his fastest horse to Broadwater and told him to leave right then. Ives and Cooper rode into Deer Lodge five hours after Broadwater had safely arrived among friends. Broadwater had been saved by Moore’s warning and Ives’ pride in cooking flapjacks.
Broadwater’s next occupation was working for a freighting company. Through a change of owners, he became superintendent of Nick Wall’s freight company, the Diamond R. In 1866, Broadwater, Matt Carroll, George Steele, and E. G. Maclay bought up the company and made it the largest freighting concern in the West. Many acclaim that it figured in the development of Montana. As superintendent, Broadwater was good at making certain that customers received their shipments on time.
From traveling the state in his occupation, Broadwater became well acquainted with army personnel. He also became acquainted with Amherst H. Wilder, a St. Paul entrepreneur who had contracts with the military. When Fort Assinniboine and Fort Mag- innis were established in the 1870’s, Broadwater, through the association of Wilder, was able to secure the contracts for furnishing all of the construction materials for Fort Assinniboine as well as the contract for running the trading posts at both forts. Broadwater lived and worked at Fort Assinniboine near Havre and his nephew, Thomas A. Marlow, was one of the post traders at Fort Maginnis near Lewistown.

On May 29, 1892, over five thousand people gathered at the Broadwater Springs Hotel to attend Broadwater’s funeral, one of the largest ever held in Montana. Photo provided by MHS Photograph Archives

When railroads came in and forced freight businesses using oxen and mules out of business, Broadwater turned to other sources of income. A spur line needed to be built from the mines in Butte to the mills run by water power in Great Falls. Railroad magnet, James J Hill, recruited Broadwater, whom he met through Wilder, to be president in charge of building and operating the Montana Central Railroad, a job he did with skill.
While he was doing that, he also invested in a silver mine in Neihart; became the first president and a major investor of the Great Falls Water-Power and Townsite Company; was named president of the Great Falls’ First Na- tional Bank, and also was president of theSandCouleeCoalCompany. He started Montana National Bank in Hel- ena with financial backing of Wilder. With this wealth and friends through- out the state, Broadwater was consid- ered one of the state’s Democratic Party big four, along with Marcus Daly, Sam Hauser, and William Clark. In 1873, Broadwater married Julie Chumasero, whose father was a Helena judge and a strong Republican, in a lavish wedding . Those giving gifts were the “Who’s Who” in Montana at the time. They lived at Fort Assinniboine, but later made a permanent home in Helena. They had two children, Charles C. Broadwater and Antoniette Wilder Broadwater. Broadwater will be most remembered for his foray into the tourist industry. He held eighty acres of land to the west of Helena that had both hot and cold water springs. In the late 1880’s he took on building a lavish resort hotel and natatorium that became the largest indoor swimming pool in the world. At one end of the pool were two waterfalls, one from the cold springs and one from the hot springs. Lighted by electricity, at night the natatorium “glistened like a jewel box.” Broadwater thought well-heeled clientele would come from throughout the country on the railroads. They would visit Glacier and Yellowstone Parks and stop at the hotel enroute. But the hotel was too isolated, and the resort gradually fell to disuse.
Although only fifty-two years of age, Broadwater’s body grew tired from all of the energy he had expended over the years. His doctors told him that he had a smoker’s heart. He tried an overseas trip and then a stay on the east coast, only to contract influenza. Upon returning home, he died in Helena on May 24, 1892. To transport the five thousand people who attended his memorial service, additional trains from Butte, Billings, and Great Falls were scheduled. At Broadwater’s untimely death, many of his projects were unfinished and needed someone with energy and busi- ness sense to continue them to fruition. Broadwater’s nephew, Marlow, took on the job and was fairly successful.

Postcard of the Broadwater Hotel and Swimming Pool Building. Courtesy of History Museum

Only with the name of the county of which Townsend is the county seat is C. A. Broadwater remembered today. Gone is the Neihart mine where over two million dollars of silver was extracted. Torn down is the lavish Helena hotel and natatorium. But the people of Great Falls celebrate his interest and investment in a new community—one that he thought had a bright future. It is unlikely Broadwater Bay in Great Falls was named for the early pioneer, C. A. Broadwater.  Even  before a board that named the parks was created, the term, Broadwater Bay, was being used in newspaper articles in the 1880s to identify the quiet, wide expanse of the Missouri River located west of downtown.

By 1894 the mayor and the newly formed Park Board Commission had started looking for tracts of land that would become parks.  A designated piece of property identified as Sun River Tracts and, at that time, located outside the city limits was sold to the city in two parcels by David Thomas and James Chambers in 1890 and 1894 respectively.  Becoming one parcel of land, it had extensive frontage on the Sun River.

This area was to be named Broadwater Park to honor C. A. Broadwater, “Montana’s most illustrious citizen and a warm friend and believer in the destiny of Great Falls.”

When these Sun River Tracts were later officially named, it became Wadsworth Park in honor of O. F. Wadsworth, one of the park commissioners.  Because the Park and Recreation Department records indicate that Broadwater Bay Park was named in honor of C. A. Broadwater, it is entirely possible that the honor was later officially transferred when the Broadwater Bay area became a park .


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Global Rallycross

A How a Love of Racing, an old Ford pickup, Two Brothers, and 5 Principles Came Together to Challenge International Racings Elite.

Text by Shane Klippenes • Photography by Loenbro

It’s the stuff that Hollywood screenplays are made of, and this one is true! Two brothers from Central Montana, go to welding school “back East” and return home to build a multi-million-dollar business with an old Ford pickup and a pair of welders.

Jon and Paul Leach grew up in Sun River, Montana with a passion for racing anything with wheels and the willingness to do whatever it took to accomplish their goals. The Leach family instilled the importance of hard work and treating people well from day one, two concepts that would later intermingle with other salt of the earth principles to form the foundation of their company.

Fresh out of welding school, Jon and Paul purchased an old Ford pickup for $750, outfitted it with a welder for each of them, and went to work at the refinery. According to Jon, “At the time there were a lot of contract welders around, but we were the only ones willing to do things other than weld”. When welding jobs dried up at the refinery, they found themselves digging ditches, painting pipes and a myriad of other tasks that kept them employed while launching their reputation as a comprehensive solution to pipeline problems. “We would just say yes to everything the refinery asked us to do”, Paul said.

Becoming certified at pipeline inspection, painting, and insulation in addition to their core of welding expertise, solidified their place in refineries around the state and propelled Loenbro’s expansion throughout the mountain west. Within a matter of just a few years, this “can do attitude” coupled with a mission to treat people right while reinvesting in the communities within which they worked, resulted in explosive growth, taking their company from a two-man gig, to a significant player in the industry, touting over 500 employees.

With their core business on solid footing and never content to let grass grow under their feet, the Leach Brothers began sponsoring talented dirt-track and up and coming NASCAR racer, Steve Arpin. Born in Fort Frances, Ontario to parents who fostered love for all things racing, Steve grew up racing go-carts and was running dirt-modified’s by the time he was 14. “I grew up a little shop rat” says Steve, while recounting the winding road that landed him squarely in Charlotte, NC as the featured driver for Loenbro Motorsports in the Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) Series.

GRC tracks have been described as “some of the most diverse and technical challenges in the world of motorsport. Between half a mile and a mile in length, they feature a mixture of dirt and tarmac, as well as a 70-foot jump. Red Bull GRC tracks can be built almost anywhere, leading to incredibly varied layouts.” (

Drivers, owners and fans have responded enthusiastically to GRC track layouts, racing formats, and the buildout of the cars. “It is so hard to describe how fun these cars are to drive and the adrenaline rush they create out on the GRC courses” Arpin stated. “With around 600 horsepower under the hood of a Ford Fiesta, the Loenbro Motorsports #00 accelerates from 0-60 miles per hour in under 2 seconds and is like an angry wasp that is just buzzing around, ready to launch.”

Loenbro’s 5 Core Principles: 1. Do the right thing every time. 2. Lead by example. Don’t ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. 3. Give back to the community. 4. Do what you say you will do and more. Under promise, over deliver. 5. Take Action!

Although he’s raced an incredibly diverse range of cars, including a multi-year stint with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on world renowned tracks like Daytona, Talladega and Texas Motor Speedway, running wide open with Loenbro Motorsports and the Red Bull GRC is clearly where Arpin has staked his future.

“Paul Leach has become a mentor to me. He’s my spotter on the race track and co-owner of our team, but has also taken the time to invest in me as a person. Paul and Jon are such genuinely good people that you’d never guess they’ve had the financial success that they have had. They give so much back to the community that you never hear about, because they don’t do it for the credit. They do it because they want to help people and do the right thing.

Notably humble and self-deprecating, Jon and Paul thrive on opportunities to invest in their core business at Loenbro and Loenbro Motorsports, by promoting other people. This selfless devotion to the advancement of others was a key in the formation of their current racing team. Global Rallycross is a competitive business, requiring a stable of experts in multiple areas to do well. The folks that came on board with Loenbro Motorsports first-year team are among the best in the industry and will need to perform as such, in order to compete against the giants of the racing scene.

Doing your homework, implementing technology, and being a student of the game are essential components of pre-race preparation as demonstrated by Steve and member of the crew.

“When you surround yourself with a bunch of good people, you can do about anything. We are just very blessed to have a bunch of awesome employees that make all this happen. It’s gonna be fun to watch this little team from Montana go up against these huge manufacturers and give them a run for their money”, says Paul.

Optimistic? Maybe; but those who have watched Jon and Paul Leach grow a 2-man crew into a national powerhouse in the pipeline industry would be reluctant to bet against the team of Steve Arpin andLoenbro Motorsports.

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some light on outdoor clutter

Text by Tina Bowen • Photography by Jim Wells

After a recent garage and storage shed organizing job, I realized there are some simple solutions to help you take control of your space that don’t cost a lot of money.  So let’s take a look at a before and after effort on a backyard garden shed that needed some TLC.  This particular shed was being used to hold all of the owners’ planters, outdoor furniture, yard tools, sprinklers, lawn mowers, and other miscellaneous items. 

What happens is what I like to refer to as “piling.”  When there is no space for an item, it gets piled up on something else and before you know it you have a whole “pile” of stuff.  Organizing, de-cluttering, and cleaning a shed like this may yield some surprising results. Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the stuff, just treat it like a big closet and begin by taking everything out to see what you have. Remember, if two full seasons have gone by and you haven’t used something for your yard, its probably time to donate, sell, or toss it if it’s broke.

In this case, a yard cart, hedge trimmers, and some planters were discovered yet no longer needed.  A quick post on the Facebook yard sale resulted in buyers for everything and it was all picked up that day.  Once you have surveyed the contents it’s time to put it all back.  But don’t just start putting things back without some thought or quickly lean tools against the wall, take your time and maximize the space.   For a low price you can buy some hooks at your local hardware store or if you are handy, make your own.  Standardsize hooks are great for hanging shovels and rakes, but use your imagination when it comes to things like a leaf blower or hedge trimmer.  Simple nails can be used as well for odd shaped items that keep things up off the floor and increase the area to move around. 

Shelves are always a necessary item and in this case some angled shelves strategically placed in the corner helped to take advantage of the dimension of the shed and provide some great storage space.  Placing a shelf over things like the lawnmower and 

wheelbarrow allows for storage above them.  Old plastic crates provide a creative approach to gaining space. Screwing them to exposed wall studs provides a place for additional odd shaped items to be stored. 

Peg board is always available to provide needed space for hand tools or trim line for your weed eater.  It can easily be screwed to the walls and with a few hangers you are off and running.  One final thought about bringing some class to an outdoor space like this shed is using leftover flooring from a project.  The owner of this shed used leftover laminate from a friend’s project.  The flooring looks great and it provides a clean, smooth surface for sweeping.  Take advantage of the great weather this summer and simplify those sheds and garages!

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Gardening Oasis

Work in Concert With Nature To Manage Garden Pests And Mosquitoes In The Landscape

Text & Photography by Melinda Myers

Butterflies need to drink, but they can’t do so from birdbaths or fountains. To attract butterflies, include one or more puddling sites. Sink a dish tub or bucket in the ground, fill it with sand, and make sure to wet the sand down with your garden hose each day.

A garden filled with flowers, birds, bees and butterflies is a sight to behold. These winged beauties add color, sound and motion to our gardens. Plus, they help maximize a garden’s productivity by pollinating plants and managing plant-damaging pests.

But what about those unwanted visitors to the garden? The aphids, mites and cabbage worms that feed upon our plants or the mosquitoes that feed upon us.  There are ways to have a beautiful garden and at the same time enjoy the outdoors when we work with nature to manage our landscape.

Add a birdbath, a few birdhouses and plants for the birds. They’ll repay you by eating many of the insects that feed upon your plants. Include seed-bearing plants like coneflowers, Rudbeckias and cosmos as well as berry plants like Juneberry, dogwood and firethorn. Add an evergreen and a few trees for shelter and nesting, if space allows.

Include a hummingbird feeder and a few of their favorite flowers like columbine, salvia, penstemon, and phlox.  Then watch as these fast flyers feed upon aphids, mites and mosquitoes in between sips of nectar.

While watching the birds, bees and butterflies, examine your plants for garden pests. Catching insects early may mean the difference between a successful harvest and disappointment. Before reaching for the pesticides and destroying their food source, attract the good guys and manage unwanted pests with a few of these eco-friendly strategies.

Native plants are usually best for native bees, and can be used in both wild areas and gardens. There are also many garden plants—particularly older, heirloom varieties of perennials and herbs that are good sources of nectar or pollen.

Tolerate a bit of damage and wait for the birds, lady beetles, praying mantis and other beneficial insects to move in and eat the bad bugs in the garden. Use barriers like row covers to keep cabbage worms off your cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Sink shallow containers filled with beer into the soil around host as and some of the other favorite plants of slugs and snails. These pests are attracted to the fermenting yeast, crawl inside and die.

Lady beetles are voracious aphid feeders and an adult beetle will eat 50 or more aphids a day.

Certified Montana Master Gardener, Marcia Bundi, suggests sticking with native plants in your garden and landscaping as they need less maintenance than non-native plants, once they are established. 

“Native plants are better suited to handle extreme temperatures,” says Bundi. 

“They can tolerate disease and pests and can survive on the natural rainfall in the area and are already resistant to local insects which means you won’t need to spray toxic chemicals for pest control,” she says.

If the bad guys persist, step up your eco-friendly control. Knock small populations of aphids and mites off plants with a strong blast of water. Apply insecticidal soap or Summit Year-Round Spray Oil if nature needs a helping hand. These organic insecticides are effective at managing pests, while gentle on the good guys when used properly.  

Keep mosquito populations to a minimum. Drain water from toys, buckets or any object that can hold water and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  Change the water in birdbaths several times a week. Toss a Mosquito Dunk ( in rain barrels and water features. This organic insecticide only kills the larvae of mosquitoes, black flies and fungus gnats. It won’t harm bees, butterflies, birds, pets and people.

Bundi says, “Picture perfect produce is achieved by pesticides but it is important to point out that most insects you see are neither helpful nor harmful, they are just there.   

“My advice is to live and let live.  A little damage isn’t going to hurt your plants.  You just have to decide what you can live with”. 

Insects and diseases are attracted to stressed, damaged or otherwise unhealthy plants, so the key to preventive control is taking good care of your plants. That means paying close attention to them and providing the conditions they need for healthy, vigorous growth.

Evaluate your success and make needed adjustments. Write a note in next year’s calendar to watch for the return of these pests. You’ll be ready to step in and lend nature a hand if needed.

As you begin to work in harmony with nature you will find more birds, bees and butterflies visiting your garden. Together you can grow a beautiful and productive garden for all to enjoy.


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Sighting at Local Coffee Shop

Text by Holly Matkin • Photography by K.C. Kreit

Do you know how many shipping containers come into the United States every day?” asks Great Falls architect Phil Faccenda. “Twenty thousand. Twenty thousand every single day – stacked up like skyscrapers in the shipping yards.”

Many of these containers are recycled and returned to other countries to be rebuilt and reshipped, but others remain unused, piled up in the yards.  Instead of leaving them as waste, innovators like Phil have recognized the plethora of vacant containers as a source of sustainable, green architecture.

Taking on the Challenge

Approximately two years ago, Phil and his company, Faccenda Architects, were developing a plan to create college dormitories using half the budget of traditional construction. “We found places like France and the Netherlands where they are using shipping containers for dorms,” he explains. “We built off that idea, made up plans for very functional living spaces, and created a presentation that fell within the lowered budget requirements.”

In addition to his other ventures, Philip Faccenda is also the founder of the Montana Architecture and Design Academy (MAD Academy), which mentors and trains young aspiring architects.

The more Phil learned about the benefits of building with discarded shipping containers, the more he began brainstorming ways to create a business of his own. And if ever King Kong and shipping containers had anything in common, it would have to be Phil.

Hollywood Meets the Electric City

When Phil and his team began developing plans to create a drive-thru coffee shop, they knew it would have to stand out. “We decided to use three twenty-foot shipping containers side-by-side, with two ten-foot containers stacked on top,” he explains. “The structure will then be clad with metal siding material to reproduce the look of the Empire State Building.”

And who will be hanging out at the top of the building near the antennae? Well, a ten-foot replica of King Kong, of course!

“It turns out that when the original King Kong movie came out, no one trademarked the name,” Phil says. “We were able to apply for a Kong Coffee trademark and are now registered both in Montana and nationwide.”

A Brew Above

“Our coffees begin with the best coffee beans from all over the world, which are then roasted in the finest Italian tradition,” the Kong website notes. “Just like our namesake Kong, we can be bold and strong, but we alsohave a compassionate side for your most sensitive times.”

But Phil believes its more than fantastic beans that sets Kong Coffee apart. “We use only Source Giant Springs water for our brews, which will be held in 400 gallon tanks in the second-level shipping containers. We are the only ones doing it, and the water makes a huge difference in the taste of our coffees.”

Kong Coffee’s fixed location will be somewhere in the area of the college and hospital, but Phil’s business plan doesn’t stop there. “We have a 1959 Chevy step-side van and a customized snow cone van from 1957. The first van will be operational by mid-August, and the second one not long after. We also want to develop an app so customers can place their order, pay for it, and have it ready to pick up by the time they reach the window.”

For more information or to try Kong Coffee before the ape hits town, check out


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Summer Camp

Your Style Guide To The Best Montana Fashion Down By The River

Photography by Jacqui Smith • Hair and Makeup by Studio Montage • Styling by Kristie Sotelo


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