Filed Under Great Falls

William and Isabel Shea House

Great Falls West Bank Historic District

William and Isabel Shea built this cozy one-story brick home in 1929. With its distinctive low profile, clipped-gable shingle roof, stucco siding, exposed rafter tails, and multi-pane windows, the inviting residence is a classic Craftsman style bungalow. Its horizontal orientation, sheltering roofline, subtle decorative elements, and use of varied natural materials, like wooden shingles, speak to the style’s desire to “sing into the landscape.” The Sheas lived here over thirty years, until their deaths in 1959 and 1962. Great Falls’ longtime sanitarian, William was among Montana’s first health officials to establish a mosquito control program. However, he is best remembered as the driving force behind the Montana Cowboys Association. The organization’s first president, Shea donated a portion of his property to construct the Montana Cowboys Association Bar and Museum to the north. He also organized dances to raise money for the construction. In 1941, the National Youth Association finished building the museum, turning Shea’s vision of a place to celebrate the romance of the Old West into a reality.

Images

William and Isabel Shea House View of facade Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination form, MT State Historic Preservation Office, Helena Creator: Mark Hufstetler Date: May 2009

Location

305 3rd Street Northwest, Great Falls, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “William and Isabel Shea House,” Historic Montana, accessed December 3, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/210.