Northside Missoula Railroad Historic District

Generations of Northsiders have grown up in the shadow of the railyards since the Northern Pacific Railroad’s arrival in 1883 transformed Missoula into a modern city. Accepting land as an enticement from A. J. Urlin and other leading businessmen, the Northern Pacific located its depot above where the Orange Street Underpass is now. Two blocks to the north, the railroad built its employees’ Beneficial Hospital in 1884. A constellation of commercial enterprises, boarding houses, hotels, and private homes developed on both sides of the tracks around these original railroad properties. After the construction of the new passenger depot at the north end of Higgins in 1900, the area surrounding the intersection of Woody Street and the tracks became Missoula’s wholesale grocery district. The unity with downtown disappeared later with the closing of grade-level street crossings. In 1891, one of Missoula’s first public schools, the Northside School, was constructed at a location four blocks northwest of the original depot, and residential development soon surrounded it. The Northside became home to Germans, Irish, French, Chinese, African Americans and later, Greek, Italian, and Japanese immigrants employed by the railroad during its expansion between 1900 and 1916. Ethnic ties and common employment lent a cohesiveness to this neighborhood, which boasts some of Missoula’s oldest homes. Pyramid cottages and other simple vernacular style residences, built largely between 1883 and 1915, densely populate blocks that form the backbone of working-class Missoula neighborhoods.

426 North First Street West

One hundred thirty-seven Missoulians—mostly railroad workers—lived in the Ross House, a large hotel complex that occupied half this block in 1890. Ten years later, a covered walkway still connected the two-story wooden building on this site—home to…

605 North Second Street West

Tucked between two other historic dwellings, this small residence adds significantly to the maturity of the block. Floyd J. Logan, an attorney and local agent for Ford automobiles, built the house as an investment rental between 1908 and 1910. The…

1028 Wolf Street

Expansion of the railroad after the turn of the twentieth century brought many new residents to Urlin’s Addition on Missoula’s Northside. Rental housing such as this one-story Pyramid Cottage style residence, constructed circa 1907 and originally…

Keim Building

Arrival of the Northern Pacific in 1883 brought sweeping changes, and this elaborate 1891 business block is a grand illustration. The railroad prompted major building booms and made architectural pieces and parts readily accessible. Levi Keim, an…

Lindsay Commission Company Warehouse

The arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad transformed every aspect of life in Montana, including the food available for purchase. Frank Lindsay opened his first fruit warehouse in Helena in 1883, the year the railroad arrived and made importing…

McIntosh House

Unlike many neighborhoods in railroad towns, the lots here in Urlin’s Addition were not owned and developed by the Northern Pacific, but sold to private individuals who built rental housing for railroad employees. This gable-front vernacular style…

Taxidermist Shop and Warwick Apartments

The two buildings along Wolf Avenue that are joined today as apartments have separate histories. The older building fronting Second Avenue was listed in the 1890 city directory as a taxidermy shop and residence. By 1893, the wood frame structure (now…