Pierson House

Hi Bug Historic District

Michigan-born attorney George Pierson and his wife Loretta moved to Red Lodge in 1894. Soon thereafter they purchased this lot, where they lived in a one-story cottage. After the Piersons decided to build this “Free Classic” Queen Anne style residence in 1903, C. C. Bowlen bought their original house and moved it a block south. The Piersons’ new eight-room home featured a Queen Anne style hipped-roof, cross-gabled plan and angled bay windows. It also had the decorative moldings and accented boxed eaves common to more classical styles. Unlike most married women of the era, Loretta worked outside the home as a teacher in 1910. In 1917, Charles and Meryl Draper purchased the house, which suited their prominent community position; Charles was a newspaper editor and publisher. In the 1970s, the house became infamous for its association with the “Red Lodge Five,” defendants in a notorious drug case. A fire, which according to local legend was set to destroy evidence, damaged the home. A 2004 remodel added the current two-story wraparound porch but carefully preserved traces of the fire that marked the original maple floors and staircase.

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511 North Hauser Avenue, Red Lodge, Montana ~ Private