Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Passenger Depot
The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Passenger Depot was erected in 1915. It is one of most recognized landmarks in Great Falls.
Backstory and Context
The Milwaukee Road was founded in the late 1840s and grew steadily in the subsequent decades. It the last of the great railroads to cross Montana, which it did by 1909. As noted above, the depot helped transform the city into a major economic hub in central Montana, and it attracted large numbers of homesteaders to the central plains of the state. However, after the First World War, Montana suffered under four years of drought which caused a severe agricultural depression. Many homesteaders lost their farms and left. As such, the depot's most historically important years were between 1915 and 1925. The depot continued to operate as a passenger station until the 1950s. It sat vacant for 15 years before being renovated into mall. It became an office building in the 1980s and remains so today. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
The Montana National Register Sign Program. “Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Depot.” Montana Historical Society - Digital Vault, accessed July 30, 2020, http://digitalvault.mhs.mt.gov/items/show/20118.
Wells, Karen A. "Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Passenger Depot." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. October 13, 1988. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/3418e597-9b24-4437-9ff3-daa3c235f5c2.
Loren T. Vine, via Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Milwaukee_Road_Station_(Great_Falls)_2002-05.jpg