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Lodge Grass Town

Lodge Grass Town Hall is located at 212 Hester Avenue, Lodge Grass, MT 59050; phone: 406-639-2356.

Beginnings [1]

The Original Town of Lodge Grass was officially platted by George Pease, an early 20th Century Indian trader, on November 29, 1911 and consisted of 11 blocks, with the streets oriented northwest to southeast, parallel to the railroad tracks. Pease's survey of 1909 illustrated only five buildings within the original townsite, including the two story, wood frame Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad depot situated on the east side of the railroad tracks opposite the one story, wood frame Second Pease Store. Also across from the depot, on the west side of Main Street, was the home of A.G. Westwood, the railroad station manager from 1907 to 1945, now demolished. Further west, on the south side of First Ave., there was a house and barn that probably served as the first residence of the Pease family, In 1912, George Pease built a new, two story, log and frame house on the south side of First Avenue, and his earlier house has since been destroyed.

A.M. Stevenson acquired part of the Indian allotment of George Hill, which abutted the Original Town of Lodge Grass on the south, and, on February 16, 1911, he filed the plat for the Stevenson Addition. This first subdivision in Lodge Grass had 8 blocks, with its streets running north-south and east-west. At this time Stevenson built a two story, brick store on the northwest corner of Main Street and Hester Avenue in the new Stevenson Addition. This building was the first brick structure to be erected in Lodge Grass and is still owned and operated by the Stevenson family as the local IGA store. Although the original building stands today in its prominent position at the center of the commercial core of the town, its historic architectural integrity has been compromised by the construction of a one story brick addition to the north, enclosure of the street level store front with stucco, and the complete sheathing of the front facade with non-historic materials. Stevenson also helped build a two story, frame hotel for his wife's sister, Katherine Durst, on the southeast corner of Helen Street and Hester Avenue in 1911. The Cottage Hotel is still operating and its adjacent barn was converted to apartments ca. 1930. The adaptive reuse of the barn as an apartment house was accomplished with little change to the building's historic appearance. Four double hung windows were cut into the front facade and the upper hay loft opening was enlarged to accept a four-panel, exterior door. The barn's architectural form, gambrel roof, and minimal fenestration clearly reflect its original function.

  1. Paul Friedman, Archaeology Department, Powers Elevation, Inc., Historic Resources of Lodge Grass, Montana, nomination document, 1986, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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