Original 1877 Buildings

1. Powder Magazine 1878

The powder magazine is a structure made of mortar and fieldstones that was used to store explosives when the post was active. The small building was purposely built along the river, close enough for easy access, but far enough away to minimize any damage or danger from explosions. At one point the building was also storage for target frames and other equipment.

Updates to the Fort in Early 1900s

2. Officer’s Row & Other Housing 1906-1912

After fires destroyed many Fort Missoula buildings in the early 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law appropriations for a bill that included major upgrades to Fort Missoula. New Officer’s housing was included in these upgrades.

3. Post-Hospital 1906-1912

The first hospital at Fort Missoula consisted of tents and a shanty set up by the 3rd Infantry in 1877. A frame building was built the following year that could hold up to twelve patients at one time.

4. Post Exchange (Building T-2) 1906

Unlike its neighboring Officer’s Row buildings, the Post Exchange building, built in 1906, followed a Colonial Revival architecture style with large columns gracing the front of the building. It was originally built for $21,800 and housed administrative offices as well as a 2,000 square-foot gymnasium. Soldiers could also purchase personal items such as beer, wine, jewelry and gifts at the PX.

5. Stables (T-42) 1910

The original Fort Missoula stables and coral were built in the northwest corner of the Fort, located near the Bitterroot River. New Mission-style stables (T-42) were built on the east side of the Fort in 1910. During World War I the building was used to train truck mechanics.

6. Water Tower 1912

When Army Engineer George Pond inspected the fort in 1900 the water system was found to be worn out and beyond repair. By 1903 a contract was made for a new water and sewer system, and the Fort was forced to use bottled water until repairs were made.

CCC Related Buildings 1930s

7. CCC Related Buildings 1930s

The American economy was at an all time low after the stock market crashed 1929. In response, President Franklin Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps which was designed to employee young men from poor families. The CCC was established in 1933 by the Emergency Conservation Act. The Army was put in charge of the new program, and Fort Missoula was quickly designated as the Northwest Regional Headquarters for all of Montana, including major projects in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, and into Idaho. Fort Missoula administered training and camp assignments for 24 to 32 local camps, with as many as 225 men per camp. It was not unusual for 400 to 500 men to arrive at Fort Missoula in a single day.

WWII and Later Buildings

8. Fire Station and Guard House (T-46)

Building T-46 was built in 1940 and housed a fire station and guard offices on the first floor, and a cellblock on the second floor. After World War II it continued to be used as a fire station until it was converted into a Post Exchange (PX).

9. Solitary Cell Blocks 1945

When the Alien Detention Center was closed, local Missoulians were worried about the loss of jobs. Representative Mike Mansfield notified the local Chamber of Commerce that Fort Missoula would be turned back to the Army to be used as a detention camp for medium-security military prisoners. These prisoners were sentenced to terms ranging from 2 to 30 years.

Fort Missoula Buildings that Don't Exist

10. Officer’s Club 1877-1972

The Officer’s Club (T-3) building was one of the first buildings to be built at Fort Missoula. It was a log building, constructed of 10 to 12 inch think larch logs. The building was originally intended for a laundress quarters, but was first used as housing for officer’s family until it could be completed. The building was divided into four apartments, but the diving walls were taken down when it was converted into the Officer’s Club in the mid-1920’s.

11. WPA Recreation Building 1939-1946

In 1939 the Fort received $75,000 from the Works Progress Administration to reconstruct and improve Fort buildings. Projects included converting the old Fort Chapel into building T-1, new guard houses, and a new recreation center. It was the largest project done at the Fort by the WPA. It was air conditioned, and included a basketball court on the first floor, a basement bowling alley, a kitchen and bar, and a large stage.

12. Post Cemetery 1877

The Post Cemetery at Fort Missoula encompasses an area just shy of one acre, split down the center by a service road, and surrounded by an iron fence. The Post Cemetery is an active Class IV National Military Cemetery with an estimated 400 gravesites, about which half of are filled. There are veterans from many American wars buried here, including the Civil War (1861-65), the Indian Wars (1866-92), the Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1917-18), World War II (1941-45), the Korean War (1950-53), and the Vietnam Was (1964-73). Today the cemetery remains as an active military cemetery. Those eligible for burial are military personnel either retired or active duty, their spouses, and dependent children.