Philipsburg Historic Disctrict

Philipsburg’s early-day fortunes ebbed and flowed with mining. Today, its historic district is one of Montana’s best preserved late-nineteenth-century mining towns, with commercial, public, and private buildings dating from the boom period of silver mining. Silver was discovered south of here in 1864, and only three years later Philipsburg (at an elevation of 5,270 feet) was growing at the “rate of one house per day,” an area newspaper reported. That same year, the St. Louis and Montana Company sent Philip Deideshimer (for whom the town was named) to Philipsburg to help develop and manage its mines and stamp mills. Only two years later, the nearby Hope Mill shut down and Philipsburg was largely deserted. A revival of mining activities from the mid-1880s to mid-1890s led to Philipsburg’s greatest growth, when tens of millions of dollars worth of silver bullion, ore, and slag were shipped to out-of-state markets. The wooden, false-front buildings on Broadway were replaced with masonry structures. When silver mining was curtailed in 1893, recently discovered sapphire deposits helped stabilize the local economy. That year also saw the creation of Granite County, with Philipsburg as county seat. During World War I, Philipsburg was the largest supplier of domestic manganese, which led to another boom for the area. After that boom, Philipsburg has slipped into a stable existence based on agriculture, government, logging, limited mining, and tourism.

102 West Kearney Street

Before his death in 1896, pioneering Jewish businessman William Weinstein owned many lots, including this one, in Philipsburg. By 1902, his daughter Alice Weinstein Hannah owned the property and the one-story wooden dwelling that stood on the site,…

123 East Broadway Street

Philipsburg’s early-day fortunes ebbed and flowed with mining. Today, its historic district is one of Montana’s best preserved late-nineteenth-century mining towns, with commercial, public, and private buildings dating from the boom period of silver…

Courtney Hotel

Brothers Morris and Humphrey Courtney built this multi-purpose building in 1918 with profits from manganese mining acquired during World War I. The building speaks to the coming of the automobile as the basement housed the Granite County Garage and…

Doe's Drug Store

In the 1880s and 1890s, masonry structures gradually replaced the frame buildings left from Philipsburg’s mining camp days. Doe and Hoyer constructed this commercial brick building in 1887. Modini’s Grand Hotel and Restaurant was located in the west…

First Presbyterian Church, Philipsburg

Reverend Milton Cook organized Philipsburg’s first Presbyterian congregation in 1877 and Reverend George Edwards came from Missoula to preach once a month. But it was not until 1891 that Reverend Samuel Wishard established a permanent Presbyterian…

Granite County Courthouse

The first permanent home for Granite County offices was completed in 1913. Prominent Montana architects John Link and Charles Haire designed the building. Its cut stonework is, appropriately, made of Montana granite. Granite County commissioners paid…

C.T. Huffman Grocery

Built circa 1887, Lutey’s Grocery and the Barrett and Jacky Harness Shop originally shared occupancy of this one-story commercial building. By the 1890s, Valentine Jacky shared the building with C. T. Huffman, who supplied groceries to Philipsburg…

Hynes House

Most of Philipsburg’s original wooden commercial structures were later rebuilt of brick, but this last-remaining frame boardinghouse escaped such a fate. The two-and-one-half-story establishment, built in 1880, was run by Honora Hynes until the…

Kaiser House

Michael Kaiser, founder of the Philipsburg Water Company, built this grand hotel in 1881. One of Philipsburg’s oldest masonry structures, the original hotel boasted a wraparound porch extending halfway around the building. Second-story French doors,…

Kaiser House Annex

A second-story walkway originally connected this three-story masonry building with the Kaiser House, affording the busy establishment more boarding rooms. Constructed circa 1890, its gabled dormers in a metal mansard roof present an appearance…

Masonic Temple, Philipsburg

Meetings in Philipsburg of Flint Creek Lodge No. 11 date back to 1867. This structure, built in 1911, provided a permanent home for the community-oriented fraternal organization. Chambers for lodge meetings occupy the entire top floor. The ground…

McDonald Opera House

Prominent businessman Angus A. McDonald constructed this two-story masonry theater in 1891. A metal-covered stage loft rises above the roof as evidence of the structure’s historic function. Beneath the south end were dressing rooms for the traveling…

J.K. Merrill and Sons Dry Goods

The excellent design and spacious interior of this two-story commercial building represents Philipsburg’s prosperity and substantial population during the 1890s. Constructed for J. K. Merrill and Sons between 1892 and 1894, Freyschlag, Huffman and…

Morse Hall

Colonel J. W. Morse built Morse Hall in 1887. This elaborately detailed public lecture hall also served as county courthouse after 1893, as well as an opera house, town hall, library, and general community center. Its splendid second-story dance…

Patten Residence

During the 1880s masonry structures began to replace wood-framed buildings from the mining camp days to form the present town. George H. Harn, who at that time ran one of two local brickyards, probably built this fine residence with his own bricks.…

Pizer Building

One of a network of Jewish merchants who supplied miners in the Rocky Mountain West, nineteen-year-old Benjamin Pizer arrived in Helena from Poland with his wife Jessie Silverman and their newborn son David in 1869. With limited capital, he purchased…

Sayr's Building

First known as the Hyde Block, this building was constructed by banker Joseph Hyde and his wife, Mary, in 1888. It housed the First National Bank until the silver crash of 1893. In 1904, Frank Sayrs purchased the building and it has since held a…

Schuh-Nowak Residence

A beautifully embellished pedimented gable and open porch with spindled balustrade, turned columns, and decorative details highlight this splendid two-and-one-half-story Queen Anne style residence of salmon-colored brick. Mary Schuh, a longtime…

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

In January 1889, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church opened its doors to hold one of the first services in a church in Philipsburg. Placed within the cornerstone the previous year were a Bible, some coins, names of donors, and a copy of the Philipsburg…

St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church

The cornerstone for St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church was laid in 1887. Dedicated September 15, 1890, this modest but rather sophisticated structure was one of Philipsburg’s early churches. Choice of brick and prolonged construction reveal the…

Walker Commercial Company

Prominent Missoula architect A. J. Gibson designed and built this two-story commercial building in 1905. The fine design includes a metal modillioned cornice and panels with a full height glass storefront and polished granite skirt below. The Walker…

Weinstein Building

Around the mountain from the mining camp of Cable in 1866 came Polish-born merchant William Weinstein with a wagon-load of goods to sell. He became Philipsburg’s first general merchant, constructing the eastern half of this building in the late 1870s…

Wilson Brothers Building

Charles A. and Frank J. Wilson, brothers from Wisconsin, built and established their businesses in this building by 1888. The building originally housed a furniture store on one side, a feed store on the other, and a miners’ boarding house/living…