Bon Ton Historic District

The elaborate homes of the Bon Ton Historic District reflect the tastes and aspirations of Bozeman’s economic and cultural elite. Its residents included the presidents and managers of successful businesses and the doctors, dentists, lawyers, and college faculty who formed the city’s ever-expanding professional class. The district’s character was established early, when developer William Alderson platted Central Avenue (now named Willson Avenue after pioneer general L. S. Willson). Alderson envisioned the wide, stately street lined with fashionable residences. After the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in Bozeman in 1883, that vision became a reality. An article in the 1884 Avant Courier commented appreciatively: “Central Avenue is developing into a Bon Ton residential street in Bozeman.” This Victorian period expression means “the finest.” It is an appropriate title for the historic district as a whole, which grew to include 260 homes on South Willson, South Grand, South Third, and West Cleveland. A number of builders and architects shaped the neighborhood’s character and its unique blend of high style and vernacular architecture. However, none had more influence than Fred F. Willson. Educated in New York and Europe, Willson became Bozeman’s premier architect in the early twentieth century. His fine Depression-era work complemented the neighborhood’s earlier Queen Anne, Italianate, and Colonial Revival style homes with more contemporary Craftsman, Tudor Revival, and International style designs. In 1935, the city erected elegant concrete lamp posts along S. Willson Avenue and W. Cleveland Street. The posts are the only historically significant lamps remaining in Bozeman today.

602 South Grand Avenue

The 1893 economic depression had ended when J. H. Beverly constructed this vernacular residence in 1899. Bozeman’s steady turn-of-the-century growth made his a sound investment. Frank Alderson, treasurer of the Avant Courier and the youngest son of…

812 South Third Ave

There were few houses in the neighborhood when Civil War veteran Edward Cornelius Kinney moved into this home circa 1906. Kinney, a civil engineer of some renown, was educated at Oberlin College in his Ohio hometown. As assistant chief engineer for…

Accola-Lewis Residence

A handsome oak stairway is the centerpiece of this beautifully crafted Queen Anne style home built circa 1905. Dr. Louis Safley, a Bozeman physician, may have been the original owner, but prominent Pass Creek rancher Louis Accola and his extended…

Joseph and Emma Baker Residence

In 1904, banker Joseph Baker and his wife Emma chose the Colonial Revival style for their new home—the second house constructed on this block. The home’s design offered a fashionable alternative to the exuberant Queen Anne style, which dominated…

Frederick W. Bull House

At the dawn of the twentieth century Bozeman emerged the undisputed economic and cultural center of the Gallatin Valley. A growing number of businessmen and professionals settled in the residential area south of Main Street, where a few prominent…

T. Byron Story Mansion

Built in 1910, the Thomas Byron Story Mansion and Carriage House were designed by renowned architect C. S. Haire, known for his work on the Montana state capitol addition. Haire's plan for T. Byron Story, his wife Katherine Ferris, and their…

John Cook / Arthur H. Post Residence

Doctors, lawyers, and professors settled in the preferred Bon Ton Historic District, building homes that reflected their community status. Dr. John Cook, a Bozeman dentist, built this Colonial Revival style Cape Cod cottage in 1925. Although not an…

Robert A. Cooley Residence

A full-length front porch welcomed visitors to the clapboard home constructed on this lot in 1904. Robert and Edith Cooley purchased the residence from Golden Rule bookkeeper R. A. Black the following year. The couple had moved to Bozeman in 1899…

Merrill R. Good Residence

Architect Hurlbert C. Cheever, fresh out of graduate school, designed this charming Tudor style cottage in 1934 for his university colleague, Merrill R. Good. Both young men were professors at Montana State College (now Montana State University),…

Susan Kirk Residence

Optimistic Bozeman entrepreneurs John Dickerson, Walter Cooper, and Nelson Story (of cattle drive fame) platted the Park Addition in 1883. Despite the arrival of the Northern Pacific that year, the addition remained undeveloped until the late 1890s,…

Thomas Noble House

Thomas and Anna Noble came to Bozeman in 1890 from Salesville. Thomas, an experienced logger, secured employment with the Prey Lumber Company. After S. C. Kenyon purchased the firm, Kenyon and Noble became partners in the business, furnishing early…

Nelson Story Jr. House

The 1898 “Bird’s Eye View of Bozeman” shows this large elegant home standing alone on the 600 block of Grand Avenue. The house is a fine example of the Shingle style, identifiable by the steeply pitched roof, intersecting cross gables, wraparound…

610 South Willson Avenue

Built in 1904, this Colonial Revival style home reflects a renewed interest in America’s colonial heritage and combines elements of the emerging Craftsman style. The main body is a square with bay window columns on each side for balance and light.…

Fred M. Brown Residence

Queen Anne style details distinguish this home built for civil engineer Fred M. Brown and his wife Mary in 1908. Brown’s father, J. N. Brown—a prominent local contractor and brick maker—likely supplied the brick, but the architectural details of…

Charles S. Hartman Residence

Attorney Charles S. Hartman deserves a prominent place among Bozeman’s early residents. He opened a law practice in 1884 and with his wife Mollie built this home in 1886. Hartman carved a stellar career that included serving as a delegate to the 1889…