George Ostrom Interview, August 31, 2017


George Ostrom


Beth Hodder



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Download Transcript of George Ostrom Interview (234 KB)


George Ostrom discusses his childhood in Montana, including his time spent in a mining camp where his father worked. He describes his decision to become a fire lookout during the 1940s, working mainly at the Battery Lookout above Quintonkon Creek. Ostrom talks about the equipment he used, the telephone lines he maintained, and his daily routine which included fetching water from a spring near the lookout. He tells stories about his time as a lookout and mentions the wildlife he saw and the kinds of food that he stocked and prepared. Ostrom also recalls working as a smokejumper during the 1960s, and later as a radio announcer. A portion of this interview has been restricted at the interviewee’s request.


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Document Type

Oral History


Kalispell, Montana; Quintonkon Creek, Montana; Battery Lookout, Montana; Spotted Bear; Flathead National Forest; Fire lookouts, Montana; Forest fires, Montana; U.S. Forest Service; Smokejumpers, Montana; Radio announcers; World War, 1939-1945

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Northwest Montana Lookout Association Oral History Project, OH 453, 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 /

Oral History Number

OH 453-004

Media Type

Sound; Text

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:16:30 minutes

Local Filename

OH_453_004.mp3; OH_453_004.pdf

George Ostrom Interview, August 31, 2017