Forsyth Residential Historic District

Founded for the railroad, Forsyth’s residential neighborhoods were platted in 1882 but much of the land lay undeveloped until the 1900s. Forsyth’s first-generation homes were simple dwellings rapidly constructed of wood or log to serve the immediate needs of the railroad workers who were Forsyth’s first residents. The historic district northeast of the commercial area was home to many of these. By the 1890s, however, the railroad crews had moved on, the population had become more diverse, and the town was more settled. The landmark vernacular Gothic style Methodist Episcopal Church, built in 1890, represents this earliest period of permanent development. A few carpenter-built American foursquare and gable-front-and-wing cottages survive from the 1890s. These dwellings follow the national folk housing trends of the era. Builders and owners added distinctive details such as bay windows, small dormers, and porches, lending each home a distinct personality. As Forsyth residents prospered, fashionable Queen Anne style residences began to lend prestige to the neighborhood. After 1901, domestic building styles became more varied when pattern books made the latest architectural plans widely available. Forsyth enjoyed rapid growth and new prosperity in the first decades of the 1900s. Stylish Colonial Revival homes and Craftsman bungalows reflect the optimism of the homestead era. Today the historic district is a dynamic mix of these later elements interspersed with the earlier carpenter-built cottages. The quiet, inviting avenues personify the enthusiasm of hard-working citizens and early town boosters. 

241 North Eleventh Avenue

By 1897, a single-story home stood on this site. Owners had added a wing and two porches by 1910, but by 1920 that house had been replaced with this one-story bungalow. The full-length front porch tucked beneath the roof, exposed rafter tails, and…

310 North Eleventh Avenue

At the turn of the twentieth century, inviting porches fronted many houses in Forsyth. Built before 1910 on a prominent corner lot, this hipped-roof home retains its full-length porch, supported by Doric columns. As with many early-twentieth-century…

474 North Thirteenth Avenue

A single-story octagonal cutaway bay with prominent wooden brackets and a multi-sided screen porch mark the street façade of this T-shaped, two-story home. An excellent example of vernacular Queen Anne style architecture, the home displays much…

258 North Twelfth Avenue

Built between 1895 and 1900, this residence began as a brick cottage with a rear kitchen addition and a small front porch. Kitchens were often built under separate roofs at the turn of the century. This separation kept smoke from the kitchen stove…

411 North Twelfth Avenue

Early pioneers Thomas and Mary Alexander owned large swaths of land in and around Forsyth, including most of this block, which they subdivided into lots. They sold this tract to Edward Jones in 1903, who likely built this asymmetrical two-story…

542 North Twelfth Avenue

Northern Pacific conductor Frank Runyan and his wife, Nellie, built this one-story bungalow in 1914. County jailor Dick Wright and his wife, Edith, lived here from 1919 to 1923. A. J. and Ina Freeman owned the home in 1940. A. J. was justice of the…

558 North Twelfth Avenue

Exposed rafter tails add a fashionable Craftsman style accent to this one-story residence. The inviting, open front porch also reflects the Craftsman ideal; the style’s southern California originators intended large front porches to connect…

610 North Twelfth Avenue

Standing just outside the original town site, this two-story home is believed to be one of the first residences constructed so close to the Yellowstone River. It was a dangerous place to build since despite early dikes, the river was still prone to…

Bachelors Club

A large central dormer and an inset front porch distinguish this Craftsman style residence. Businessman and real estate developer Winnie Dowlin likely had the home constructed circa 1910 along with the two houses immediately to the south for rental…

Beeman Residence

Arrival of the Milwaukee railroad and the masses of homesteaders who followed in its wake meant land-office business for Forsyth. As Rosebud County seat, Forsyth provided plenty of work for lawyers like Henry Beeman, who opened a title abstract…

Bland Residence

“The three Longley cottages in the eastern part of the city have been completed and are ready for occupancy,” announced the Forsyth Times in November 1901. Two of those cottages were almost certainly this hipped-roof residence and its twin next door,…

Choisser Block

Sunrays filtering through a window apparently ignited straw packing in the basement of the J. E. Choisser Wholesale Liquor Company in July 1917. Bottles of liquor burst in the flames, fueling a fire that ultimately gutted the two-story building.…

F. V. H. Collins Residence

In 1901, prosperous rancher Thomas Hammond built “a fine residence in Forsyth … one of the architectural adornments of the city.” He and his wife, Adelaide, and their four children used the home as a town house until 1905. That year they sold the…

E. A. Cornwell Residence

“E. A. Cornwell, the popular Forsyth merchant and banker, will move this week into the first cement block house ever built in Forsyth,” reported the Forsyth Times on October 3, 1907. “It is fitted with steam throughout, electric lighted, and modern…

Edwards Residence

Distinctive pointed-arched, Gothic style windows and a decorative three-story square tower, tucked in the L of the cross-gable, originally distinguished this unique residence, constructed between 1896 and 1903. In March 1903, John and Julia Edwards…

Harry and Frances Cornwell Residence

Decorative half-timbering and an intricate roofline distinguish this elegant one-and-one-half-story home. Mary Philbrick had the residence built as a wedding present for her daughter Mary Frances and son-in-law Harry Cornwell, a hardware merchant.…

Maurice and Mary Lord Residence

When the Milwaukee road arrived in 1907, Forsyth boomed, and carpenter Maurice S. Lord decided to open his own business. “It won’t cost you anything to talk to me,” he advertised, “and if I can’t suit you as to price and quality, then give the job to…

McCuiston Residence

The deep eaves and flared rooflines of this two-story home were meant to evoke the Far East, while its octagonal tower, ornamental brackets, decorative beveled glass, and corbelled chimneys reveal the attention to detail that accompanied the home’s…

Meredith Residence

Carpenter Gustav Hoff purchased this lot in 1900, and sometime before 1920 he built this one-story, hipped roof house, likely as an investment. Robert “Shorty” Meredith and his wife Mary bought the residence in 1920 for $2,500. The couple had moved…

Meyerhoff Residence

Emmett and Anna Meyerhoff arrived in Forsyth in 1902 and quickly became prominent in Forsyth society. The assistant cashier of the newly organized Forsyth State Bank (later First National Bank), Meyerhoff was bank president by 1913. Anna was active…

Northway Residence

A truncated hipped roof reflects this circa 1895 home’s modest beginnings. Carpenters used shorter, less expensive pieces of lumber for hipped roofs than for triangular-shaped gable roofs. Owners added a full-length front porch (since removed) and a…

Lida Parker Residence

Cattleman Lafayette H. Parker and his wife, Lida, purchased a small home on this lot in 1910. Lafayette died two years later of tuberculosis, but Lida continued to live here, and in 1917, she obtained a mortgage to replace her home with a two-story…

E. A. Richardson Residence

Cast concrete block was an exciting new technology in the 1900s. While critics labeled it “cheap and vulgar,” builders and homeowners embraced it as a “substantial and beautiful substitute for stone.” Durable, affordable, and simple to manufacture,…

Richardson Mercantile Implement Division

“Forsyth No Longer a String Town—Side Streets Are Being Utilized” proclaimed a 1910 Forsyth Times article lauding the development of Ninth Avenue. Side streets lined with businesses marked a railroad town’s coming-of-age, as did construction of brick…

Roxy Theatre

“May You Prosper Well in Your New Theatre with Your Steadfast Faith in Forsyth,” read one of the many ads that filled the August 28, 1930, Forsyth Times. Car and clothing merchants joined building contractors and suppliers in congratulating Anthony…

Sorenson Residence

Northern Pacific Railroad engineer Thomas Sorenson and his wife Hannah built this one-and-one-half-story residence circa 1910. That year the Norwegian immigrant couple lived here with their five children and two boarders, both of whom also worked for…

Taber Residence

Civil engineer Charles Taber helped survey the original Northern Pacific line through Forsyth in 1881. He must have liked what he saw because he soon returned to Forsyth, becoming the town’s first mayor after it incorporated in 1904. Taber purchased…

Thurston Residence

Small touches add elegance to this one-and-one-half-story Colonial Revival residence and matching garage. Particularly noteworthy are its overall symmetry, prominent eave returns, shingled gabled ends, and classical pillars supporting the hipped roof…

Vredenburgh and Sawtelle Sanitarium

Osteopaths Norman Vredenburgh and Claude Sawtelle built this Craftsman style bungalow in 1915 as a “sanitarium,” a small hospital and nursing home. From its inviting inset front porch to its prominent hipped dormers, the building looked more like a…

Wilson Residence

Dr. Arthur C. Wilson moved to Forsyth after graduating medical school in 1891. He worked as a surgeon for the Northern Pacific Railroad, as a medical examiner for insurance companies, and as the county health officer. Forsyth’s first resident…