Filed Under Bozeman

South Tracy - South Black Historic District

As Main Street became Bozeman's commercial thoroughfare, this area to the south along South Tracy and South Black Avenues between Olive and Anderson Streets was platted in 1871, extending the original townsite. Construction began immediately as reported in the Avant Courier's first issue: "From early dawn until the setting sun, the hammer of the builder makes the welcome ring ... of industry and progress." By 1872, modest wood frame dwellings lined South Tracy Avenue. The simple "I-house" at 308 South Tracy, built by freed slave Richard McDonald, represents this earliest period of growth. Other early residences include 209 and 211 South Tracy Avenue (built in 1879 as rentals by black barber Samuel Lewis), the gable fronted home at 401 S. Black (1879), and two fine residences at 422 and 301 South Black (1880). Although building continued throughout the 1880s, extensive development did not occur until after 1900 when population growth created a need for more housing. The many homes built in the district between 1906 and 1935 reflect the popular trend toward modest, affordable single-family dwellings. The Bartholomew brothers and Guy Ensinger among other prominent Bozeman builders added many bungalows in rapid succession, sometimes several at a time, filling in open lots and spaces that once separated older residences. Today the district totals eighty-nine homes and the Longfellow School, built with WPA assistance in 1939. Earlier, modestly scaled and ornamented homes interspersed among the predominant bungalows creates a building density and visual layering of ages unparalleled in Bozeman's other historic neighborhoods.

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South Tracy Avenue-South Black Avenue, Bozeman, Montana | Private/Public


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “South Tracy - South Black Historic District,” Historic Montana, accessed June 18, 2024,