Hi Bug Historic District

Hi Bug was a schoolyard term coined in the 1920s in reference to the wealthy and high-society residents of north Red Lodge. Developed between 1890 and 1930, the area’s location north of the coal mines yet near the railroad station, city schools, churches, and business district made it ideal for the privileged class. Before 1910, it was an enclave of the English-speaking citizens. Bankers, lawyers, mining engineers, businessmen, and ranchers brought their families to the district. White-collar workers often boarded in the larger homes, while Nutting Row provided rental housing both for newlyweds awaiting construction of their own homes and families of area ranchers spending the school year in town. In planning homes, most families chose the popular “pattern book” styles of the era, but a select few hired local architect Seth Hunneywell. Several houses located at the north end of Hauser Avenue stand out as the largest, grandest homes in the city. Built by prominent businessmen, they served as symbols of the success and affluence attainable in Red Lodge.

612 Hauser Avenue North (Lehrkind House)

The manager of the Red Lodge Brewery, Paul Lehrkind, purchased this lot in 1920, likely with the intent of building a home. However, despite efforts to survive Prohibition by manufacturing the "near beer" Bud-O ("Always on Top"),…

Chapman House

Forty-five guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner and housewarming at the home of John and Alphia Chapman on November 12, 1903. Begun in 1902, completion of the residence was delayed when contractor Walter S. Smith suffered a serious fall from the porch…

L. Chapman Rental

One of seven side-gabled cottages built in this neighborhood at the turn of the twentieth century, the Craftsman style tri-arched façade later added to the porch and front window make this charming example unique. The first owner was Louis Chapman,…

Croonquist House

Perched high on a hill overlooking the district, this Craftsman style bungalow reflects the original owners’ love of nature and natural surroundings. The distinctive home served as the winter residence of Alfred and Senia Croonquist. Well known for…

Davis House at Brewery Hill

A natural springs and pond provided ice and water for a brewery established here in the early 1890s. In 1894, arson destroyed the ice house and brewery buildings, but a small, one-room log residence escaped the blaze. Dan Davis purchased the property…

Flager House

Architect Seth Hunneywell designed and built this Colonial Revival two-and-one-half-story home for Alfred and Ruth Flager, who lived here from 1902 to 1911. Costing approximately $3,500 to build and boasting "all the modern conveniences,"…

McCleary House

A four-square plan, tapered porch pillars, and flared overhanging eaves reflect the Craftsman style influence that affords this distinctive home a more modern appearance than its contemporary neighbors. Decorative cresting and leaded glass add…

McDonald House

Rocky Fork Town and Electric Company sold this lot and the one next door to F. P. Musser for $84 in 1896. Immediate resale to real estate agent T. P. McDonald for $177 netted Musser a handsome profit. This four-square cottage was either moved or…

McDowell House

The sloping roof of this one-and-one-half-story house once shaded an open porch. The curved roofline and shed dormer add Craftsman style elegance to the home, constructed on a double lot after 1907. The interior also reflected Craftsman ideals with…

Meyer House

Celebrated lawyer, banker, and state senator William F. Meyer fulfilled his resolve to have the town’s finest residence with the construction of this Queen Anne style home in 1899. The plan, adapted from an architectural pattern book, was lavishly…

Nutting Rental

One of nine remaining homes on Nutting Row, this foursquare cottage features a hip-roofed main block with ornate dormers with shingles in an imbricate pattern. The design and plan of this 1907 home reflects William B. Nutting’s role in the…

O'Shea House

Irish immigrant Daniel G. O’Shea arrived in Carbon in 1887. The eager eighteen year old took a position with the Rocky Fork Coal Company, serving as paymaster and bookkeeper until 1899 when he was appointed manager. He resigned from RFCC in 1903 to…

Peters House

“Coziness” was the watchword of progressive builders in the early twentieth century. Small, well-designed houses proliferated after 1900 in part to compensate for the expense of such modern conveniences as indoor plumbing. Plans for…

Pippinger House

During the summer of 1887, Ben F. Pippinger became Red Lodge’s first teacher, hired to teach the children of the Rocky Fork Coal Company miners opening the area’s first coal mines. Pippinger later ran the Cloverdale Dairy on a ranch north of town. He…

Robbins House

Prominent Red Lodge businessman William B. Nutting subdivided this northwestern neighborhood as the Nutting Addition circa 1899. Beginning in 1900 with this home, he built five cottages north of his own residence that became known as Nutting Row. J.…

Roysdon House

Real estate speculation abounded after the Northern Pacific Railroad constructed a branch line to Red Lodge to take advantage of the area's rich coal deposits. In 1891 Nathan Smethurst purchased this lot for $36, selling it for a profit the same…

Sichler-Davis House

A prestigious corner site contributes much to the elegance of this Queen Anne style cottage, built by rancher and businessman Louis Sichler in 1902. The steep and asymmetrical roofline, projecting gables, and two-storied bay epitomize the Queen Anne…

Talmage House

W. A. Talmage arrived in Red Lodge in 1888 to manage a branch of a Billings mercantile. By 1894, the ambitious businessman owned his own large hardware and farm implements store on Billings Avenue. Undoubtedly, his business connections helped Talmage…

Talmage / Crockett House

According to an oral tradition handed down in the Crockett family, this gable-front cottage was moved here from “Old Town.” It was remodeled circa 1901 when it is first recorded on this lot. At that time, prominent merchant W. A. Talmage owned the…

Hasterlik House

Prominent lumber merchant C. C. Bowlen purchased this lot in 1901. Two years later, when attorney George Pierson decided to build a larger home, Bowlen purchased Pierson’s front-gable residence and moved it a block south to this location. Constructed…

Alderson House

Over a quarter of the houses in the elite “Hi Bug” neighborhood were built between 1900 and 1901, including this one-and-one-half-story home, erected as a real estate investment by Red Lodge merchant Walter R. Hall and his wife Louisa. After leasing…

Robbins/Wiggenhorn House

A steep-roofed gable-front cottage with a wraparound porch stood on this lot by 1901. Sometime before 1907 Rose Robbins—who owned the one-and-one-half-story home along with many other lots in the neighborhood—expanded the residence, adding a rear…

Pierson House

Michigan-born attorney George Pierson and his wife Loretta moved to Red Lodge in 1894. Soon thereafter they purchased this lot, where they lived in a one-story cottage. After the Piersons decided to build this “Free Classic” Queen Anne style…