The advent of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the early 1880s triggered a building boom in Bozeman that lasted until the end of the decade. This modest T-shaped dwelling, constructed in 1889, signaled the end of intense building activity. Although a shortage of brick hampered commercial building into the mid-1880s, by the end of the decade a ready supply of locally made brick attests to the optimism of city fathers and the town’s assured permanency. Historic maps reveal that in 1890 this house marked Bozeman’s northern residential limit with cultivated fields lying directly behind the property. Built by longtime Bozeman resident Freeman Bohart, the home was owned and occupied by Frank Nelson in 1900. Nelson, a station engineer, lived here with his wife and small son. The Nelsons typify this neighborhood of families dependent upon the Northern Pacific. Among numerous resident owners and tenants between 1900 and 1940 were two more Northern Pacific station engineers, a ticket agent, and a chief clerk. These underscore the railroad’s continued importance to Bozeman’s economy. After 1944, residents reflect a change in the personality of the neighborhood. A store manager, a conservationist, a communications consultant, and several retirees indicate the waning of railroad supremacy. The Queen Anne style cottage well illustrates Victorian-era sensibilities. A combination hipped roof with diminutive gables augments the irregular floor plan. Bay windows, decorative shingling in the gable peaks, chamfered porch support posts, and knee braces inset with spindlework recall the nineteenth century's fondness for details.

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510 North Church Avenue, Bozeman, Montana ~ Private