Montana photographer releasing new book about Sperry Chalet

Posted at 12:10 PM, Jun 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-17 14:10:04-04

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – This week, Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Department of the Interior announced $12 million in federal funding for the reconstruction of the Sperry Chalet. The National Park Service will rebuild the Chalet at the original site within the original stone masonry walls.

On the heels of the announcement, a photographer, who gained attention for taking one of the most iconic photos of the Sperry Chalet just weeks before it burned in a forest fire last August, is applauding the effort and releasing a book.

Last week, a Great Falls contractor won the construction bid to rebuild the iconic structure.

For more than a century, the Sperry Chalet’s stone masonry walls welcomed visitors off the trail including Brett Bouda.

"I think the unique part of the chalet was the real nineteenth-century experience. There is no power and there is no running water," Bouda said.

The chalet can only be reached by trail via hiking or horseback. Bouda, with camera in tow, has captured it each year since 2004.

"It’s almost seven miles. It’s 3,300 feet elevation gain and mostly wooded area," said Bouda.

Constructed in 1913, the chalet saw its first guests in 1914, but last August, the chalet burned in the Sprague Fire.

A major announcement this week by the National Park Service brings hope to Bouda: the chalet will be restored to reflect its original period of significance from 1914 to 1949.

For those who couldn’t make the hike to see the rustic lodge in its former glory, Bouda is set to release a new book on the Chalet next week.

"There’s a little big of history, beautiful pictures of the Sperry Chalet itself, and then all of these hikes leading to the Chalet and through the Chalet."

The cover photo is one of the most iconic and last images of the chalet, taken by Bouda just weeks before it burned.

The funding for reconstruction was also provided by privately solicited donations from the Glacier National Park Conservancy.

"Sperry Chalet: 1914 to 2017" is set to be officially released on Saturday, June 23, in Condon at the Mission Mountains Mercantile. Bouda will be on hand to sign copies.

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