The Main Street historic district reveals Miles City’s major growth periods of 1882-1887, 1905-1920, and 1935-1940. The first of these began with the arrival of the Northern Pacific in 1881, when imposing brick business blocks began to replace the wooden, false-front buildings of the town’s beginnings. Architect Byron Vreeland designed many of these buildings, favoring the late-Victorian period vertical lines. This boom ended with the “Hard Winter of 1886-1887" that decimated range cattle herds, ruining stockmen and the businesses that served them. The second growth period was spurred by the arrival of the Chicago, St. Paul and Milwaukee Railroad in 1907 and by the homestead boom of the region, for which Miles City served as social and business center. Local architects Brynjulf and David Rivenes, and Charles S. Haire and John G. Link of Helena, now shaped downtown Miles City’s appearance, with light-colored, formal, and symmetrical designs. This growth period ended with the 1920's agricultural depression. As the subsequent Great Depression began to lift, Main Street again began to see new construction, with Art Deco and Moderne enriching the mixture of architectural styles.