BRAY’S CABIN in Montana....Now Just a Pond!
A very picturesque place in the Upper Boulder area just south of Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch is what used to be known to us as Bray’s Cabin. Tucked back in the forest by a pristine spring-fed pond was a dwelling built by Robert Bray, probably in the 1920’s, along the old mining road to Independence. Robert forded the Boulder River near 4-Mile to reach his cabin.
The log cabin was built with a dock extending out into the small pond known as Hidden Lake, later named Trout Lake. A beaver dam increased the size of the pond, so that the dock was under water and water ran under the cabin. Robert’s nephew, Don Bray, remembers spending time at the cabin and was especially intrigued by the old kerosene refrigerator that froze everything unless the control was set exactly right.
Robert Bray, known as “Honey Boy” because of the bees he raised, was involved in many other enterprises. BRAY’S was a “Five & Dime” store in Big Timber for many years. He made money by wisely investing in the first “potato chip maker”. Don remembers a truck with a sound system that Robert owned that he took to rodeos, and he rubbed elbows with many celebrities such as Tom Mix. He was also elected to the Montana Legislature at the age of 21.
When the lease was discontinued a few years ago the cabin was removed by the Forest Service. What has now become “Bray’s Pond” still remains a special place on the Boulder.