In 1906, speculative investor Leonard A. Corey and wife Mary set up housekeeping in a tent along the Clark’s Fork River, awaiting completion of their new home. Several years before, Corey, brother-in-law Samuel H. Glidden, and others had formed the Bridger Canyon Oil Company. Company stock rapidly increased until the firm was capitalized at $1,500,000. In July of 1907, Corey filed thirty oil placer locations, and within two weeks twenty-two tons of drilling equipment was enroute to Bridger. The Coreys moved into their fine new residence at the height of this financial prosperity. Completed in May of 1907, the home reveals the architectural transition from Queen Anne to Arts and Crafts styles. An irregular floor plan, two-story polygonal bay, and gabled roof reflect the older Queen Anne charm, while the broad porch, wood shingles, sandstone, and masonry work display fashionable Arts and Crafts characteristics. Beautiful beveled, leaded, and stained glass windows further reveal quality craftsmanship. Though Corey never struck oil and suffered financially, he remained undaunted. A mining venture took him to Alaska in 1913, and Corey was never heard from in Bridger again. Today, the stylistically sophisticated Corey House and the Glidden House next door recall the short-lived wealth of these early speculators.

Images

Corey House
Corey House Corey House (PAc 91-51 Bridger R08 F31). Side to front view of the house, facing northwest on the corner of E Street and East Broadway Avenue. B&W Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Vernon P. Sundberg Date: Apr. 1985
Corey House
Corey House Corey House (PAc 91-51 Bridger R08 F33). Front to side view of the house, facing southwest on North E Street. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Vernon P. Sundberg Date: Apr. 1985

Location

106 North E Street, Bridger, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Corey House,” Historic Montana, accessed May 30, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/110.