304 Cottonwood

Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District

Only the jail, the county courthouse, the Episcopal Church, and a few Main Street businesses boasted two stories when this frame building joined their ranks, sometime before 1884. That year the false-front building served as a combination residence and carpentry shop; carpenters often constructed particularly elaborate dwellings to demonstrate their skill. Beginning in the 1880s, several additions expanded the building. A carpentry shop remained on the first floor in 1888, by which time the International Order of Odd Fellows had moved its lodge rooms to the second story. Like many fraternal organizations, the Odd Fellows preferred second-story meeting rooms to maintain privacy during secret rites. The fraternal organization continued to meet here into the 1940s. According to local legend, bootleggers operated a still here during Prohibition. At various times, the building also served as a Wells Fargo office, a saloon, an apartment, and a cold storage facility. In the 1970s and 1980s, it became home to the Powell County Museum, which added the two-story porch and balcony.

Map

304 Cottonwood, Deer Lodge, Montana ~ Public