The town of Three Forks, born to serve as a division point for the Chicago, St. Paul, and Milwaukee Railway, took root in 1908. As the town grew to a sizable settlement of 2,300, the Empire Theatre opened to serve local audiences. Manager David R.…

Less than a decade after the skyscraper made its debut in Chicago, the new technology of steel frame and curtain wall construction was employed in Butte. This engineering principle, coupled with use of the elevator, allowed the Hirbour Block to…

Walter Arnold, architect for the Butte Civic Center, designed this commanding two-story commercial building, which covers a full city block. It replaced four existing businesses and was built to house a branch of the F & W Grand Silver Store, a…

Butte School District #1 constructed this attractive four-story building between 1918 and 1920 to house the high school’s Manual Training Department. The United States Army Recruiting Center was located here during World War II and, later, from 1954…

Architect Herman Kemna, who began his Butte practice in 1898, designed this attractive corner landmark at the end of his productive career. The two-story building of brick and concrete, constructed in 1922 at a cost of $45,000, features large arched…

Standing just outside the original town site, this two-story home is believed to be one of the first residences constructed so close to the Yellowstone River. It was a dangerous place to build since despite early dikes, the river was still prone to…

In 1905, a devastating fire swept through Stevensville destroying many of the town’s vulnerable wooden buildings. The tragedy prompted local officials to pass an ordinance requiring architects and contractors to build with non-flammable materials.…

A single female boarding house (an early twentieth-century euphemism for brothel) shared the block with the original jail in 1912. Set back from the street, the small ten-by-ten-foot wood-framed jail had only enough room for a single cell—which may…

In 1885, the Montana Territorial Legislature authorized the organization of a National Guard. Within three years its nine companies were headquartered in the territorial capital at Helena. Since that time Montana Guard personnel have been called up…

Artist C. M. Russell illustrated the program for the formal ball, held April 12, 1913, inaugurating the largest hotel between the Twin Cities and the Coast. Built almost entirely with donations as a public enterprise, Helena felt real pride of…