In 1865, Montana’s territorial legislature passed its first conservation law, limiting the capture of trout to rod or pole. By 1901, Montana had eight deputy game wardens, which grew to twenty-four by 1917. Hunting and angling became increasingly…

After the federal government began to provide money to address widespread poverty during the Great Depression, Montana established the Department of Public Welfare, which supervised all forms of public assistance. In 1937, that department set up…

The 1982 Justice Building and Montana State Library, designed by Page-Werner and Partners of Great Falls, was the last building constructed under the ambitious 1972 Capitol Campus Master Plan. Designed to house the Supreme Court, Attorney General’s…

Since its completion in 1959, the Executive Residence has not only served as home for Montana’s first families, but also played an important part in the functioning of state government. It is the second such structure to fill that role. Initially,…

Following World War II, Montana’s growing state agencies desperately needed all types of space. Consequently, in 1946 the Montana State Postwar Planning and Construction Commission recommended building a laboratory where all testing for state…

Montana’s original Highway Department building reflects the ascendancy of the automobile in twentieth-century America. As drivers began lobbying for good roads, state government responded, forming the Montana Highway Commission in 1913. Five years…

Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, state government grew to meet the increasing demands of Montana’s citizenry. In 1945—following a hiatus wrought by the Great Depression and World War II—the legislature established a Montana…

Established by the state legislature in 1901, Montana’s Board of Health was originally housed in two small offices in the capitol building. As the state devoted more attention to public health during the Progressive Era, the Board’s responsibilities…

During the first decade of statehood legislators met in downtown Helena where lawmakers enjoyed a variety of options for “lunch arrangements.” When lawmakers transitioned into the new Capitol in 1902, downtown Helena was a mile away. A small…

Concerns about communicable diseases and unsanitary slaughterhouse conditions prompted the creation of the Livestock Sanitary Board in 1907. Originally housed in the new State Capitol, its duties quickly expanded and the need for laboratory and…