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In 1862, a group of men from a Minnesota Masonic Lodge met in the breathtaking Montana Rockies. In the early 1900s they built the Belton Masonic Lodge to stay in while they visited Glacier Park.
The Lodge was originally located by the train station in Belton (now West Glacier), and served as one of the first visitor centers for Glacier National Park. The lodge welcomed passengers alighting from the train at Belton as they awaited directions and transportation to their lodging.
When West Glacier School District formed, the lodge was sold to the Rowles family and moved by its new owner, log by log via logging trucks, to its current site. Reconstructed in a true labor of love, it continued to serve visitors to the area as an inn.
Prior to the arrival of the lodge, the only building on the property was a trapper’s cabin located in the current position of the Griz Cabin.
The Rowles family rebuilt the lodge and made their home there for many years. The whole family lived in one room of the lodge during the busy summer months and retreated to Columbia Falls during the winter, operating the lodge itself as a restaurant famous for its chicken dinners and TV – which was quite the attraction in those days, even with static snow!
The lodge has always played host to travelers and passersby, serving the local community as a meeting place. Through the years it has hosted many weddings, dances and social gatherings and was even once used as a rollerskating rink.
Stories of black bears in the wellhouse, escaped llamas, and construction drama live on as a charming part of its history and identity, and we are always interested to hear the personal stories of past owners and our guests who now visit from all over the world.