Robert "Bob" Martin Interview, August 19, 1999


Robert Martin


Suzanne M. Vernon


Download Transcript of Robert Martin Interview (425 KB)


Robert “Bob” Martin discusses leading pack trips and hunting parties in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He recalls packing water in as part of a trail crew that worked on a 1934 fire in Montana’s Mission Mountains. Martin talks about being a gunner in the U.S. army during World War Two where he served in North Africa and Sardinia. He also discusses meeting his wife and marrying her in 1942 before he joined the Army. He talks about working on a fire lookout in the Mission Mountains and tells stories of bear encounters he had while working there. Martin describes cutting trail systems into the mountains. He talks about fishing near Swan Lake and the impact that increased fishing from tourists and new residents has had on the fish population. He discusses the buildings at Bar 33 Dude Ranch and Holland Lake Lodge. Martin discusses the Bar 33 Dude Ranch and talks about its architecture and construction. He talks about working as an outfitter and describes a bear encounter he had near Beanhole Lake. Martin discusses being one of the first smokejumpers in 1941 and training at the Ninemile Remount Depot outside of Frenchtown, Montana. He talks about Charley Anderson, a wounded veteran from Columbia Falls, Montana, who worked as the sole U.S. Forest Service employee in the early days of the Swan Valley settlement. Martin concludes by discussing his employment with the U.S. Forest Service and with the Gordon Ranch.

The audio for this interview is restricted. Only the transcript is available.

Document Type

Oral History


Homesteaders, Montana; Swan Valley, Montana; Firefighting; Firefighers, Montana; U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Army; Trail cutting; Packers; Pack trips; Bob Marshall Wilderness Area; Wildlife; Fishing, Montana; Fish population, Montana; Overfishing; Logging; World War, 1939-1945; Farming; Bar 33 Dude Ranch; Fred Kaser; Beanhole Lake; Gordon Ranch; Charley Anderson, U.S. Forest Service

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Upper Swan Valley Oral History Project, OH 422, 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 422-091, 092

Media Type


Original Format

2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (25 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format


Local Filename