In 1920, the City of Billings purchased 32.5 acres of rural, largely treeless land, anticipating correctly that a neighborhood would grow around it. They began clearing sagebrush and planting trees, and a year later, the parks board contracted with…

Four Livingston businessmen commissioned architect C. E. Bell to design this two-story commercial block which was built in 1904. The symmetrical building stretched across four lots until its southern bay was demolished c. 1971. Bell moved to…

An 1886 fire destroyed the one-story tin shop and hardware warehouse that originally occupied this lot. Two year later, meat merchant and rancher John Harvat purchased the property. Livingston’s premier Gilded Age architect, I. J. Galbraith,…

After fire destroyed most of this side of Main Street in 1886, Chicago lawyer and financier James A. Danforth invested in building this double-front, brick commercial building. The original façade featured tall plate-glass windows divided by central…

Fred Bottler came to Montana over the Bozeman Trail in 1865, moving circa 1868 to the Upper Yellowstone, where he and brother Phil claimed 320 acres. Fred was a commercial hunter, supplying thousands of wolf pelts and elk hides to the New York…

Charles Garnier—Livingston mayor and cigar manufacturer—teamed up with businessman, brick manufacturer, and real estate developer A. W. Miles to construct this dignified addition to the commercial district. They hired one of the architects…

Located along major intertribal trade and travel routes, the Missouri River headwaters was a confluence of people as well as rivers. Faded pictographs testify to long usage by Plains and Intermontane tribes, including the Shoshones, who regularly…

Traveling through southeastern Montana in 1883, naturalist, writer, and future United States President Theodore Roosevelt was struck by what he called the Medicine Buttes. He wrote, “Altogether it was as fantastically beautiful a place as I have…

The Lewis and Clark Caverns Headquarters building, designed by National Park Service architect O. John Ballas and built by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) crews in 1938, is a model example of the Rustic or “Parkitecture” style. Drawing on Arts and…

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs to bring the United States out of the Great Depression put millions of men to work and transformed local, state, and national public lands. While New Deal programs like the Civilian Conservation…