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…

The 1895 legislative act that allowed construction of Montana’s state house included provisions for heating the building. Capitol Commissioners decided a separate heating plant would be required. Built in 1901, the first plant included a brick…

By 1920 more Americans lived in industrial cities than in rural places, leading to a growing romanticism about the natural world. At the same time, films and dime novels fed fascination with the Old West. These factors combined to fuel a new…

Expansion of the campus in 1923 included the construction of this large building to house classrooms and laboratories for ore dressing, metallurgical research, ceramics, and chemistry. Architects Floyd Hamill of Butte and George Carsley, widely…

In 1917-18, the Forest Service recognized the Big Creek Ranger Station as the “most important secondary protection station site in the Lower North Fork district.” Ten years later, the Forest Service reinforced the designation by building this…

The Big Creek Ranger Station served as an administrative center for managing logging and firefighting in the remote North Fork of the Flathead River valley. Set aside for a ranger station in 1908, the site was surveyed in 1911, after the 1910 “Big…

Despite the crippling effects of the Great Depression, American auto tourists took to the roads in record numbers in the 1930s. To lure these tourists to Montana, the state highway department’s Robert Fletcher developed an ambitious promotional…

The number of motels in Billings grew rapidly as the national economy boomed after World War II. Millions of Americans took to the road on vacations and for business trips, creating a tremendous need for roadside accommodations. Among all the motels…

A sense of community and a place to gather were essential in homesteading settlements like Sanders. In 1910, the area’s residents rallied together to build a club house on this site. Each donated $15 or its equivalent in labor, and the building,…