Architect Loren B. Olds, who arrived in Montana Territory in 1863, designed both the Madison County Courthouse and the original Beaverhead County Courthouse in Bannack (later the Meade Hotel) in 1875. Among the earliest architect-designed buildings…

A major fire that destroyed ninety percent of Havre’s business district in 1904 also sparked the town’s transformation from a frontier community to a Progressive-era town. Rebuilding Havre coincided with a nationwide reform movement that promoted…

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…

A grueling journey by train and stagecoach brought three Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, to Virginia City in 1876. The former Madison County Courthouse (now the Bonanza Inn) had been vacated. The sisters purchased the building, which then…

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…