Lee Christensen Interview, February 14, 1988


Lee Christensen


Brad K. Christensen



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Download Transcript of Lee Christensen Interview (298 KB)


Lee Christensen discusses his career as a hay derrick—also known as beaver slides or stackers—builder, which started in the 1920s when he apprenticed with another builder before striking out on his own. Christensen talks about building beaver slides throughout Montana, particularly in the Big Hole area, as well as in Idaho. He details how to construct a beaver slide, including where he found the timber, what size and type of timber used, how he hewed the logs, how he put everything together, and how much he charged per slide. Christensen discusses how a beaver slide is used to stack hay. He recalls one incident when one of the slides he made broke during the course of transporting it from one area to another. He also describes how the slides were moved from field to field using skids, and how typically the people who contracted him to build the slides typically owned big ranches and the slides provided a cheaper alternative to baling.


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Document Type

Oral History


Hay derricks; Beaver slides; Stackers; Agriculture, Montana; Agricultural equipment; Harvesting equipment; Haying; Haying equipment; Big Hole, Montana; Ranching, Montana

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Settlers, Homesteaders, Ranchers, and Farmers Oral History Collection Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana-Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 189-001

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (90 min.): analog + 1 transcript (16 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:44:18 minutes

Local Filename

OH_189_001.mp3; OH_189_001.pdf

Lee Christensen Interview, February 14, 1988