Welcome to the Winnet, Montana picture tour
Winnett, Montana is 242 miles (390km) from our office in Helena, Montana. Typically, we would zoom by Winnett during the last rays of sunset as we raced back to Helena on a Sunday night so we could report to work on Monday morning. Every time we passed by Winnett we were struck by how picturesque the town was in the evening light. In June of 2010 and July 2011 we finally got a chance to explore this great little Eastern Montana town.
Join us as we explore Winnett, the Payola Reservoir and Montana’s first “Oil Boom” town, Cat Creek, Montana.
Mineral County Courthouse
Winnett High School
East of Winnett
North of Winnett
Cat Creek, Montana
Looking East from Cat Creek
War Horse NWR
We’ll continue the Winnett, Montana Picture Tour by posting images of historic Cat Creek, Montana.
Cat Creek, Montana is a little sleepy looking today. But in the early 1920’s it was the scene of Montana’s first true Oil Boom. To transport the oil to market, twenty-two miles of pipe was laid from Cat Creek, to Winnett, Montana storage facilities. Once in Winnett, the oil was moved by train to refineries in Casper and Greybull, Wyoming. In 1920 there were six companies drilling in the Cat Creek field. By the end of 1921, there were sixty companies drilling in the area.
The first Winnett, Montana school was built in 1922 and the entire town was rebuilt in the 1930’s. At that time, the original tar paper shacks were replaced with three-room frame houses. Fluctuating Oil prices quickly ended the boom in 1922. The Cat Creek field is still producing but just barely. 24,000 barrels was pumped in 2012 compared to over 2 million barrels in 1922.