Visiting some Comrades in Kremlin, Montana

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Northern Montana is just about as far away as you can get from anything, let alone the seat of power in the heart of Russia.  And yet, here in the middle of the grain fields, there’s a town called Kremlin, Montana.  If the other small towns along the Hi-Line couldn’t persuade you to stop for a moment, I’m betting that a town named Kremlin will.

Location

Kremlin, Montana is located 20 miles west of Havre, Montana, on US 2.

My Visit

From US 2, There’s a boring old road sign pointing towards Kremlin, Montana.  Once you make the left-hand turn (assuming you’re headed east)…

Kremlin, Montana

… you’ll find a more personalized welcome to Kremlin.  Clearly, the city decided to emphasize that you’re still in the USA, just in case you’ve been out here so long, you weren’t sure anymore.

Lacking a loch, Kremlin has its version of Nessie emerging from the ground — the same place where the town finds its livelihood.  You’ll find this dry-land sea serpent just behind the Kremlin sign.

The website kremlin-montana-history.com explains how the town of Kremlin received its Russian-inspired name. As the railroad tracks were laid, around 1890, an assistant foreman and interpreter for the laborers noticed the Bears Paw Mountains on the horizon, outside of what would eventually become known as Kremlin.  He thought the mountains looked like the famous building in Moscow, and began casually referring to the area as “the Kremlin” when speaking to his men.  The name grew in popularity, and eventually, the railroad gave the station its official name.

During its heyday (around the 19-teens), Kremlin had two banks, four general stores, and three grain elevators.  I’m assuming that the McCabe elevator is one of the originals…

… although it may currently be used more by some local birds.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s a look at the drive eastbound on the Hi-Line, from East Glacier Park Village to Malta, Montana:

… and here’s a closer look at just the cities on the Hi-Line:

The Bottom Line

Stop and take a picture with the signs in Kremlin, Montana, then take a moment to explore the rest of the town before speeding on towards Havre.  Fortunately, you’re only about 20 minutes from the “big” city.

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