Top 10 New (Old) Places Across Montana For Unique Photo Ops
You don't have to be an Instagram master to love taking cool pictures with a historic twist. Montana has no shortage of really interesting locations that don't disappoint on the character or funk and we've picked some of Montana's oldest buildings that are often looked over for this list.
The Adams Hotel in Lavina, Montana: This old hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places in the town of Lavina, Montana. Lavina is located on the Musselshell River about 40 miles north of Billings and in 1882 became a stage stop. The Adams Hotel was built in 1908 and went through an extensive renovation in 2021, bringing so much of it's original charm back to life.
Bitterroot National Forest’s West Fork Ranger Station in Ravalli County: The ranger's residence, cookhouse, and garage, are some of the coolest log buildings you'll find in Montana. Originally built (or lead by) a Norwegian master craftsman named Ole Tangen, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2023. According to the Montana Historical Society:
From 1932 through 1954 the buildings functioned as the core of the Ranger Station. The recent restoration of the ranger’s residence and garage returned them to their original appearance, emblematic of the U.S. Forest Service’s improvement program during the 1930s and early 1940s. Tangen’s log work remains as an instructive example to modern log builders and preservationists.
Moss Mansion in Billings, Montana: Yet another Montana gem on the National Register of Historic Places, and now a popular event space available for rent. It was built in 1903 by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh. "The Moss is a cultural center that celebrates the influential entrepreneurial accomplishments of Preston Boyd (P.B.) Moss and the ongoing legacy nurtured by wife, Mattie and daughter, Melville."
St. Peter's Catholic Church, Wibaux, Montana: If you head all the way east across Montana, you'll come to the interesting little town of Wibaux, Montana - and there you'll find an old church built of rock...ALSO on the National Register of Historic Places (added in 1990). The Gothic Revival architecture style is beautiful and a bit ominous at the same time.
According to Wikipedia: An inscription on the original stained glass window in the sacristy reads: "Through the generosity of Pierre Wibaux this church was dedicated to St. Peter in 1895." The building is no longer used for services, but visitors do have an opportunity to visit the inside by contacting the Wibaux Historical Society.
Six more off-the-beaten-path old Montana buildings worth checking out for cool pictures include: The Atlas Block of the Helena Historic District, the old school house in Bannack, the Old Post office building in Havre, the Como School in the Bitterroot Valley, the Billy Miles & Bros. Grain Elevator in Livingston.
Bannack was settled in 1862 after the discovery of gold on Grasshopper Creek. In 1864, Bannack was the territorial capital of Montana for a short time before it was moved to Virginia City.
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