Graves Funeral Home

Miles City East Main Street Residential Historic District

Cabinet and furniture makers also made caskets, and so the two businesses often went hand in hand. Furniture dealer James E. Graves purchased H. C. Plimpton’s long-established furniture and undertaking business in the 1920s. In 1929, Graves moved the mortuary end of his business to this newly constructed facility. Casper Strom, a prolific architect then new to the community, designed the striking Mission style building. Graves likely chose the style. Although unusual for Strom, it is one of his most successful accomplishments. The balanced façade features arches, porticos, curved parapets, and a decorative urn and pendants. These elements, reminiscent of a mission church, are visually appropriate for the building’s function. The combination funeral home and upstairs apartments also blends well with the character of the neighborhood. The spacious, formally landscaped lawn, then as now, adds to the residential ambience. The upstairs apartments accommodated nine households including the owners, their employees, and in 1930, superintendent of schools Jessie McCoy. The business has changed hands several times since the 1930s, but the building retains its historic integrity and associated use.

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1717 Main Street, Miles City, Montana ~ Private