Alderson House

Hi-Bug Historic District

Over a quarter of the houses in the elite “Hi Bug” neighborhood were built between 1900 and 1901, including this one-and-one-half-story home, erected as a real estate investment by Red Lodge merchant Walter R. Hall and his wife Louisa. After leasing it briefly, Red Lodge Picket owner and editor Walter Alderson and his wife Anna purchased the home, where they lived for twenty-four years. Sometime before 1907 they added an open front porch. Upwind from the coal mines and separated from the railroad depot by the city’s first park, the Aldersons raised three children here. When Walter died in 1924 following a long illness, Anna lost the property. J. F. Montgomery, owner of the Golden Rule Store, purchased the residence in a sheriff’s sale in 1925. In the 1930s local contractor Leo Ranta was likely hired to update the house by enclosing the front porch and adding distinctive Craftsman style detailing. The tri-arched fascia over the sun porch and front door is a Ranta hallmark. Though rare in this neighborhood, the design elements are found on homes throughout Red Lodge.

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313 Hauser Avenue North, Red Lodge, Montana ~ Private