Filed Under Missoula

Parade Grounds

Fort Missoula Historic District (addendum and boundary increase)

The original Fort Missoula was constructed of log and frame and was neither fortified nor enclosed. The buildings, arranged around the first parade grounds, no longer stand, but their foundations are clearly visible, bordering the area where early troops did their drills. During reconstruction of the fort from 1904 to 1912, new officers’ housing was built facing southwest toward the new parade grounds which then became the center of the fort. In addition to military drills, the parade grounds served as a baseball diamond. As reconstruction neared completion in June of 1911, Fort Missoula held an open house and hosted a technological milestone. Two special Northern Pacific trains brought excited visitors from the Bitterroot Valley to the fort while extra streetcars delivered crowds of well wishers every 15 minutes. Guests were invited to view Eugene Ely’s Curtiss biplane, which was parked on the parade grounds, and inspect the fort’s newly reconstructed buildings. Later in the day, Ely took off from here in his flying machine, marking Missoula’s first aviation event.


Parade Grounds
Parade Grounds Parade Grounds. 1911 parade ground, facing northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Patricia Bick Date: Aug. 1986


Fort Missoula, Missoula, Montana | Public


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Parade Grounds,” Historic Montana, accessed April 15, 2024,