Miles City Main Street Historic District

The Main Street historic district reveals Miles City’s major growth periods of 1882-1887, 1905-1920, and 1935-1940. The first of these began with the arrival of the Northern Pacific in 1881, when imposing brick business blocks began to replace the wooden, false-front buildings of the town’s beginnings. Architect Byron Vreeland designed many of these buildings, favoring the late-Victorian period vertical lines. This boom ended with the “Hard Winter of 1886-1887" that decimated range cattle herds, ruining stockmen and the businesses that served them. The second growth period was spurred by the arrival of the Chicago, St. Paul and Milwaukee Railroad in 1907 and by the homestead boom of the region, for which Miles City served as social and business center. Local architects Brynjulf and David Rivenes, and Charles S. Haire and John G. Link of Helena, now shaped downtown Miles City’s appearance, with light-colored, formal, and symmetrical designs. This growth period ended with the 1920's agricultural depression. As the subsequent Great Depression began to lift, Main Street again began to see new construction, with Art Deco and Moderne enriching the mixture of architectural styles.

City Hall and Fire Station

The transformation of Miles City in the early 1900s into the economic, social, and governmental center of the valley precipitated the decision to build a permanent city hall. Ed Arnold, tailor and businessman, became one of the motivating forces…

Commercial Block

The I. Orschel & Brothers clothing firm first located on this site in 1878 in a small wood-frame building. Following a disastrous fire that leveled much of the block, local businessmen formed a syndicate to build this four-part commercial…

First Presbyterian Church

Charter members George and Helen Miles bestowed this land on the church in 1882. Since that time the First Presbyterian Church has occupied this space. Church trustees met in 1911 to discuss the construction of a larger $30,000-$40,000 church. Pastor…

Jackson Block

The Jackson Block’s spare façade bears witness to those watchwords of modern architecture, “form follows function.” The two-story building suggests ways that urban architectural trends were translated and adapted in small communities. Its main…

Kenney Block (Montana Saloon)

This popular gathering place, one of Miles City’s oldest established businesses, has been proclaimed by connoisseurs the perfect bar. Originally a saloon (1893), then a fine saddlery (1900-1907), businessman James Kenney purchased the property in…

Dr. Redd's Brick Building

Dr. Robert G. Redd served as an army surgeon at Fort Keogh in the 1870s. Redd resigned in 1881 to assume a private practice. He served as county physician, coroner, and surgeon for the Northern Pacific Railroad as well as mayor from 1889 to 1900. He…