Impetus for the development of this late-blooming district began in 1890 with Bozeman's bid for designation as state capital. Instead, Bozeman received the state's agricultural college, built approximately where the hoped-for capitol complex would have been in 1893. Although the streets between Main Street and the college had long ago been platted and named, the area remained a "golden sea of wheat" bypassed by the trolley tracks. By 1904, a sprinkling of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style pattern book houses dotted the area. The Gallatin Valley Railway linked Bozeman and rural communities in 1909 as Bozeman became increasingly diversified. An extensive middle class of service providers and agricultural employees needing housing began to emerge. Bungalows, easy to build and thus affordable, yet considered "modern" with bathrooms, built-in furniture, and central heating, were the perfect solution. Using mail-order blueprints, local builders like Elmer Bartholomew, William Cline, and G. A. Ensinger added practical bungalows and cottages to the pattern book repertoire of older residences. A wealth of features like exposed brackets, porches, different roof types and surface textures lend the district a Progressive Era character. These and the district's older homes form a true "pattern book anthology." With Cooper Park and the diverse 1930s homes around it as a focal point, the district's 250 homes on pleasant tree-lined streets comprise Bozeman's largest historic residential area.