Forsyth Residential Historic District
Civil engineer Charles Taber helped survey the original Northern Pacific line through Forsyth in 1881. He must have liked what he saw because he soon returned to Forsyth, becoming the town’s first mayor after it incorporated in 1904. Taber purchased this two-story Queen Anne style home in 1906, living here with his family into the 1930s. The cross-gable residence, built circa 1892, features bay windows, turned porch supports, carved porch brackets, and a small spindlework frieze. Railroads brought such precut architectural elements to towns along their tracks, allowing builders to personalize homes for their clients. The interior boasts a narrow, sharply curved wooden staircase that, according to local legend, came from a steamboat that wrecked on the Yellowstone River. Very few boats traveled the Yellowstone after the Northern Pacific completed its railroad line in 1883, but the staircase does, in fact, look like those found in nineteenth-century steamboats. The 1870s saw at least two steamboat wrecks on the Yellowstone, and thrifty Montanans always salvaged what they could from the wreckage, from freight and machinery to building materials.