Filed Under Bozeman

Holy Rosary Church Rectory

Before the 1880s, Catholic missionary priests visited Bozeman about four times a year, holding Mass in private homes and rented halls. The community built its first Catholic church for the Holy Rosary Parish in 1885 at present day Seventh Street and Mendenhall Avenue. By 1905, the drafty wooden church had become dilapidated and the newly arrived Father J. B. Thompson led efforts to construct a “new and beautiful House of God.” In 1906, he arranged to purchase half a block of prime real estate at Main Street and Third Avenue. Dubuque, Iowa, architect Guido Beck designed the “glorious edifice” built of “granite brick” imported from Hebron, North Dakota. The towering Gothic Revival church was completed in 1908 over the objections of some parishioners, who believed that Bozeman’s small Catholic population did not justify such an expensive structure. Originally estimated to cost $35,000, the elegantly appointed church was completed for $65,000 (over approximately $1.17 million in 2009 dollars). In 1910, Father Leitham succeeded Father Thompson. “Building was one job every priest had in those days,” according to Father Leitham, and in 1912 he oversaw construction of the rectory. Fred F. Willson, who later became Bozeman’s premier architect, designed the rectory early in his career. The two-story brick building features Gothic arched windows and a detailed brick design along the roofline, visually linking the rectory to the church. The crenellated (notched) door surround evokes the image of a medieval castle, reinforcing the connection to the Gothic style.


Holy Rosary Church Rectory
Holy Rosary Church Rectory Holy Rosary Church Rectory. Front view of the building, facing south on West Main Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Patricia Bick Date: Apr. 1987


220 West Main Street, Bozeman, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Holy Rosary Church Rectory,” Historic Montana, accessed April 19, 2024,