The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula

Grounds Map

Quartermaster’s Storehouse (Bldg. 322 / Main Museum Building) 1911
Quartermaster’s Root Cellar (Bldg. T-323) 1908
Noncommissioned Officer’s Quarters (NCO) 1878
Carriage House 1880
Hayes Homestead Cabin 1900
Grant Creek Schoolhouse 1907
St. Michael’s Church 1863
Trolley Barn 2007
Alien Detention Center Barracks 1940
Alien Detention Center Barracks 1940
Parade Grounds 1877-1910
Drummond Depot 1910
Tipi-Burner 1940s
Engine No.7 1931
Frenchtown Mill Stones 1862
“Galloping Goose” Crummy 1930s
Library Car 1921
Sliderock Lookout 1930
Forestry Area Sawmill 1900
Miller Creek Guard Cabin 1910-1915
T-1 1940
T-1 1940

1. Quartermaster’s Storehouse (Bldg. 322 / Main Museum Building) 1911

Built in 1911, this brick structure once served as the Quartermaster’s Storehouse, where a variety of post supplies were stored. It has been remodeled and now houses exhibit galleries, museum store and offices.

2. Quartermaster’s Root Cellar (Bldg. T-323) 1908

This earth-covered concrete structure, built in 1908, provided cool storage for large quantities of fresh vegetables and other perishables needed to feed the men stationed at the post. The metal vents on top allowed air to circulate and kept the cellar temperature constant.

3. Noncommissioned Officer’s Quarters (NCO) 1878

Built in 1878, this log building is one of the original Fort buildings still standing. The duplex housed noncommissioned officers, civilian employees and regular Army personnel from 1877-1947. It passed into private ownership after 1947 and was being dismantled when it was discovered to be an original Fort building. It was donated to the Museum in 2007 by the Western Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society.

4. Carriage House 1880

Built in 1880, the carriage house is one of the original buildings to Fort Missoula that still stands. It was used to store a buggy and tack for families living in the NCO Quarters. It was sold and removed from the Fort in 1958, but was returned to its original location in 1974.

5. Hayes Homestead Cabin 1900

Built circa 1900, the cabin was once located on the Patrick Hayes homestead east of Missoula in the Potomac Valley. The Hayes family donated it to the Museum in 1974. It is restored to circa 1920 and is now being used for educational programming.

6. Grant Creek Schoolhouse 1907

This rural one-room schoolhouse was built in 1907 by John Rankin, father of Jeanette Rankin. It was originally located north of Missoula in the lower Grant Creek drainage, a farming area that it served until 1937. The structure has been restored to its 1920s appearance with the help of the Eta Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. It is used to interpret the history of the region’s one-room schoolhouses.

7. St. Michael’s Church 1863

This church was constructed at the original Hell Gate village, about 4 miles west of Missoula, by Jesuits from the St. Ignatius Mission. It was later moved to the grounds of St. Patrick Hospital and used by the Sister’s of Providence. It was returned to the site of Hell Gate village in 1962. In 1981, the Friends of the Historical Museum moved the church to the Museum grounds to interpret the history of the region’s religious development.

8. Trolley Barn 2007

The Trolley Barn houses the Museum’s restored interurban streetcar that ran from Fort Missoula to Bonner from 1912 to 1932; a 1918 American-La France fire engine; and the Blackfoot Stagecoach.

9. Alien Detention Center Barracks 1940

This structure is one of the wood barracks constructed at Fort Missoula between 1941 and 1944. It was used to house Italian and Japanese internees detained at the Fort. After the war’s end, the building was moved to the University of Montana for use as a storage facility. The barrack was moved back to Fort Missoula in 1995 and now houses an exhibit interpreting Fort Missoula’s internment camp.

10. Parade Grounds 1877-1910

This field was used for flag ceremonies, drills and parades during Fort Missoula’s early years. Old Officer’s Row looked out onto the area. Larger concrete barracks and officers’ quarters were constructed around a new parade ground between 1910 and 1914, when the Fort was remodeled.

11. Drummond Depot 1910

Constructed in 1910, by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St.Paul and Pacific Railroad Company, this “Milwaukee Road” depot served the town of Drummond, about 60 miles southeast of Missoula. The depot was moved to the Fort in 1982 after the railroad closed its Montana operations. It has been restored with assistance from the Missoula Model Railroad Club. An exhibit inside the depot, including the John Barrows Memorial Ticket Office, interprets the history of railroad transportation in western Montana.

12. Tipi-Burner 1940s

Tipi burners were once plentiful in the Missoula Valley, being used by sawmills to burn waste from milling operations. The Clean Air Act and new technologies turning wood waste into pressboard and paper led to the end of the tipi burners in the 1970s. Built in Conner, south of Hamilton, it was moved to the Ravalli County Fairgrounds. It was then donated to the Museum in 2004. Scott Kuehn, the Society of American Foresters, and other volunteers made this project possible.

13. Engine No.7 1931

Engine No. 7 is a rare, Shay-type locomotive originally used by the Western Lumber Company of Milltown, Montana. It was later featured in the locally produced movie, “Timberjack”. It was donated to the museum by Champion International Inc. in 1989.

14. Frenchtown Mill Stones 1862

These millstones were used at the Frenchtown Flouring Mill located on Miller Creek in the 1860s to grind wheat that was brought to Missoula to be sold to local businesses. Art Donlan donated the stones to the museum in 1975.

15. “Galloping Goose” Crummy 1930s

The “crummy” is a shuttle car that was used by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in the Blackfoot Valley beginning in the 1930s. It was a self-propelled unit with an interior engine that was used to haul men to the logging operations in the woods. It could hold as many as 45 men at a time. It was donated to the Museum in 1989.

16. Library Car 1921

The Anaconda Copper Mining Company lumber department’s library car served as an early bookmobile for loggers in camps throughout Missoula County from 1921 to the late 1950s. After serving as a dormitory and storage shed at the Lubrecht Experimental forest, it was brought to the Fort in 2005. Today it houses an exhibit about the Lumberman’s Library.

17. Sliderock Lookout 1930

Manufactured in Columbia Falls in 1930, pre-packaged lookouts, similar to this lookout, were shipped throughout a four-state region for assembly on a tower or bare ground. This lookout was dismantled at its site 40 miles southeast of Missoula, atop Sliderock Mountain, and moved to the Museum in 1983 with the assistance from the Friends of the Historical Museum and the Missoula Chapter of the Society of American Foresters.

18. Forestry Area Sawmill 1900

The sawmill was used in the early 1900s near Deerlodge, Montana. It is representative of the portable sawmills that were brought between the various logging sites in Montana. It was donated by The Missoula Saw Inc. in 1990 as the showcase for the Museum’s forestry interpretive area.

19. Miller Creek Guard Cabin 1910-1915

After the disastrous fires of 1910 destroyed three million acres of forest in western Montana and northern Idaho, the US Forest Service became actively involved in fire prevention and control. “Fire Watchers” were posted throughout the region to watch for fires from lookout trees on mountaintops. The men first lived in “rag tent camps” and later in permanent structures like this cabin once located in Miller Creek, south of Missoula. The cabin is used to interpret the history of forest protection and fire management.

20. T-1 1940

During the late 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) allocated funds to renovate the original 1885 Fort chapel into a new post headquarters building. A two-story administration building was then built, completely surrounding the original chapel. During World War II, the interior courtroom was used by the US Department of Justice to conduct loyalty hearings for detainees at Fort Missoula and later for Army disciplinary hearings. It was purchased by the Museum from the US Forest Service in 2009 and the historic courtroom was restored.