Merrill Avenue Historic District

Glendive took root as a steamboat landing on the Yellowstone River and as a railroad center in the middle of prime stock country. When the Northern Pacific reached Glendive in 1881, its first cars transported buffalo hides and bones back to the “states” and river travel became a thing of the past. Soon countless head of cattle were unloaded at Glendive, filling Montana’s empty prairies. Sheep and cattle ranchers enthusiastically promoted the region’s grazing lands and the town’s business opportunities grew when it was designated county seat. The Glendive Times encouraged newcomers, even promising single women “...a ‘right smart’ chance to catch on to husbands.” By 1884 the town supported three hotels, several churches, a school, a courthouse, at least ten saloons, and a variety of other commercial enterprises. A calamitous fire in 1886 destroyed thirteen businesses, but the spirited community rebuilt in more substantial brick. A few buildings, like the Italianate style Masonic Temple, reflect this early period. Dryland farming and homesteaders in the early 1900s had a profound impact on Glendive’s economy. The 1914 Neo-classical style city hall designed by influential Miles City architect Brynulf Rivenes and the 1922 Prairie style depot that anchor the district’s opposite ends well illustrate this prosperous era. Although railroad-related warehouses, grain elevators, and lumberyards no longer line Merrill Avenue’s southeast side, this six-block district represents the years from 1886 to 1930 and tells the story of ranching, railroading, and farming in eastern Montana.

107 West Bell Street

Contractor John Holm constructed this small two-story building for the Dion family in 1929 after he had remodeled the Dion Block on one side and built the J.C. Penney Building on the other. This final addition to the five-building Dion Block shares…

Beasley Block

Between 1900 and 1910, Glendive’s population doubled to 2,448 and the small settlement had begun its transformation from a one-stop cowtown to a more sophisticated city, where residents could stroll on cement sidewalks and tap into a brand-new water…

Chamber of Commerce

Early Glendive businessmen took great pride in their town, so when the Glendive Independent reported in 1911 that the rival town of Sidney was “putting on metropolitan airs,” merchants rose to the competition by forming committees and promotion…

Dion Brothers Building

Henry Dion built this brick building circa 1894 to expand his mercantile business. In 1908, he sold it to his two eldest sons, Harry N. and Fred. The brothers enlarged the original one-story building in 1910, adding a second story with apartments and…

Henry Dion Building

Fancy arches and other fine detailing highlight the façade of this commercial building, constructed as an investment in 1905 by pioneer Henry Dion. The outer walls are of softer, locally produced “Glendive brick” while quality imported brick covers…

Dion Building / Exchange State Bank

Fire swept through Glendive’s wood-frame businesses in January of 1886, destroying Henry Dion’s saloon and general merchandise, established on this corner in 1881. Dion constructed a kiln and built a more substantial fire-resistant brick building,…

Leidahl Building

The Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909 brought thousands of settlers into Montana, particularly benefiting towns along the Northern Pacific route. Glendive was fairly bursting with activity when this two story commercial brick building was constructed…

Krug Building

Neoclassical style elements including pilasters with decorative capitals and an elegant bracketed cornice enliven the façade of this significant building designed by Miles City architect Brynjulf Rivenes in 1910. Constructed by Joseph Wester for…

J.C. Penney Store

After the death of Glendive pioneer Henry Dion in 1920, his widow and children contracted with John Holm to construct this commercial building according to the specifications of the J.C. Penney Company. Built in 1929, the architecture is typical of…