Filed Under Bozeman

South Tracy Avenue Historic District

Towns across Montana vied for designation as state capital and Bozeman prepared its bid by platting the Capital and Butte Additions in 1890. When Bozeman received the state agricultural college instead, this tiny neighborhood along with the rest of the Butte Addition lay undeveloped until well past the turn of the twentieth century. By 1916, Bozeman's emerging role as the economic and cultural center of the Gallatin Valley had produced a growing middle class in need of inexpensive housing. The first home at 802 South Tracy, attributed to architect Fred Willson, was built in 1916 for his brother-in-law, businessman Charles Fisher. The remaining modest Bungalows were built between 1917 and 1923 by local builders William Smith, Elmer Bartholomew, Guy Ensinger, and George Wimmer. These were men of modest means who happened to purchase lots in the same neighborhood, built on speculation, and often lived in the finished homes until they sold. Subsequent owners in the '20s and '30s included five professors affiliated with the nearby college. Despite extensive construction throughout Bozeman during the early twentieth century, the small neighborhood remained isolated until the mid 1930s when new homes began to fill in the surrounding blocks. Representative of the time when the automobile became a necessity, the seven well-built bungalows with their matching garages are attractive ambassadors of this popular style and showcase the work of these significant builders.

Location

South Tracy Avenue, Bozeman, Montana | Private/Public

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “South Tracy Avenue Historic District,” Historic Montana, accessed February 1, 2023, https://historicmt.org/items/show/573.