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  • Street Paving - Butte MT
    The New Deal funded a large Street paving project in Butte, Montana in 1938 (possibly extending into 1939). More than 35 miles of streets, "representing virtually every important thoroughfare in Butte and its immediate vicinity," were  paved, representing the "largest street improvement undertaking in the history of Butte." (Big Timber Pioneer). The federal government provided approximately $2,500,000 for the project, a very large sum at the time. The money almost surely came through the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) to the state highway department.  The Public Works Administration (PWA) may have contributed, as well.  Some 3,700 WPA workers were employed on the project,...
  • Swede Dahlberg Field - Butte MT
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built an athletic complex for the high schools in Butte, Montana, The complex included a football field, quarter mile running track and tennis courts, which can still be seen in the satellite photo. The football field is now called Swede Dahlberg Field, next to West Elementary School (we are unsure if the tennis courts come under that designation). The WPA contributed almost $60,000 in relief labor for the athletic fields. Given the high unemployment in the mining district of Butte, WPA jobs were vital for the survival of workers in the Great Depression.
  • Sweeney Creek Road Improvements - Forsyth MT
    Big Timber Pioneer reported in late 1935 that the WPA provided resources toward the "graveling Swney Creek road" in Rosebud County.
  • Sweetgrass Inspection Station (former) - Sweetgrass MT
    The historic former Sweetgrass U.S. Border Inspection Station was constructed with federal Treasury Department funds. The facility was completed in 1936. Since replaced, according to the GSA, "The building was bought and relocated by a private company, and is  no longer under federal ownership." Its current location and status is presently unknown to Living New Deal.
  • Thompson Park Improvements - Butte MT
    Big Timber Pioneer reported in late 1935 that Thompson Park, 11 miles south of Butte, "is being transformed into a scenic recreational center as well as a winter sports site, under supervision of the WPA."
  • Toole County Courthouse - Shelby MT
    The 1934 Toole County Courthouse in Shelby, MT was constructed with the assistance of $75,000 in PWA funds.
  • Town Hall - Three Forks MT
    The WPA allocated $2,539 toward construction of what was then the town hall of Three Forks, Montana in August 1938. It is presumed that the site is still active as Three Forks's City Hall.
  • U.S. Post Office and Courthouse Extension - Great Falls MT
    The Great Falls Post Office and Courthouse was built in 1912. It was designed by James Knox Taylor and reflects Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals architecture and Second Renaissance Revival architecture. A New Deal extension was completed in 1938 with James Knox Taylor as the supervising architect. The building has historically served -- and still does -- as a courthouse and as a post office. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
  • U.S. Route 191 Improvements - Big Timber MT
    Montana's Big Timber Pioneer newspaper reported in 1937: "Emery C. Jones, foreman, Arne Hoem, timekeeper, left Monday morning with an additional camp outfit for Wheeler creek, where a crew of 14 PWA men will do improvement work on the highway leading to Melville. A camp has been established at the old Finstead ranch, this side of the Wheeler creek bridge beyond Ten Mile creek." Tenmile Creek and Wheeler Creek cross U.S. 191 11 and 14 miles north of Big Timber, respectively.
  • University of Montana Western, Improvements - Dillon MT
    The Big Timber Pioneer reported in late 1934 that the Public Works Administration (PWA) approved $181,000 for "improvements and equipment" for what was then known as the Montana Normal College at Dillon. Of that, $100,000 came as a loan and $81,000 as an outright grant. We do not know more about what was done with the federal funding, but we suspect that the Main auditorium was constructed at the time. Mathews Hall and the Business & Technology Building also possibly date to the 1930s. And the project might have included landscaping and paths. More information is needed. Montana...
  • University of Montana: Fine Arts Building - Missoula MT
    The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided funding for the Student Union building on the University of Montana campus in 1934 and the building was completed in 1936.  It is now the Fine Arts Building and houses the George & Jane Dennison Theater. According to the National Trust/ Montana Historical Society marker on the building, "Missoula architect C. J. Forbis ushered in a new campus building phase in 1935 with the construction of student union. The building’s placement and modern Art Deco façade broke ranks with the Renaissance Revival style called for in the old Carsley-Gilbert campus master plan. The old...
  • University of Montana: Stone Hall - Missoula MT
    The Journalism Building on the University of Montana campus in Missoula, now known as Stone Hall, was constructed with Public Works Administration funding in 1936-7.  The three-story brick structure originally housed the Journalism School and the printing press of the student newspaper, the Montana Kaimin, and now is the home of the Department of Geology, the College of Forestry and Conservation and the Central and Southwest Asian Studies Center. According to the Montana Historical Society: "Dean Arthur Stone pitched four tents near the Oval in 1914, thereby founding the University’s School of Journalism. An old bicycle shed and later World War I...
  • Vester Wilson Athletic Field - Hamilton MT
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a new baseball field, with grandstand and dugouts, for the people of Hamilton, Montana.  We are not certain of the year, but it was probably in 1935 or 1936. The National Youth Administration (NYA) added a quarter-mile running track and a skating rink to the recreation area, but we did not find those in a visit in 2023. The baseball field is still in active use as "Vester Wilson Athletic Field", home of the Bitterroot Red Sox, often regional and state baseball champions, as painted proudly on the back of the old grandstand.
  • Water System Improvements - Hardin MT
    The WPA allocated $11,000 for city water system improvements in Hardin, Montana in August 1938.
  • Water System Improvements - Kalispell MT
    Big Timber Pioneer reported in late 1935 that: "The first works progress project in Flathead county is to consist of renewing 6,600 feet of water mains, which will complete the city water system, according to Mayor Bruckhauser of Kalispell. The WPA will furnish the labor and the city the materials."
  • Whitefish Golf Club and Clubhouse - Whitefish MT
    The course and clubhouse were constructed by the WPA in 1937. The course was originally 9 holes and was designated as both the golf course and airfield.  Planes landed regularly, but became a hazard and in the 40’s the course became the emergency air field for the area.  The clubhouse included the 2 gables, but not the structure to the left in the most recent photo as in the reference. The golf course website describes the course construction as follows: "The property owners, golfers, donated the land to the County on October 29, 1933 which then transferred it to the City...
  • Woodland Park Improvements - Kalispell MT
    Montana's Big Timber Pioneer newspaper reported in April 1937: "Woodland park, a $600,000 WPA project, will be completed in June, Mayor J. P. Bruckhauser was recently advised. The project consists of improvement work on an established park." On July 15, 1937, the same paper reported on the completed work: "Among the 11 large projects comprising the WPA civic-center program in Montana upon which $676,641.12 has been expended, is the civic-center park at Kalispell. Known as Woodland Park, this beautifully developed 30 acre area now contains a concrete swimming pool, rustic club house, lagoons, roads, bridges, winter sports area, landscaped picic and park grounds...
  • WPA Road Improvements - Dutton MT
    The WPA allocated $6,105 toward street improvements for the town of Dutton, Montana in August 1938.
  • WPA Road Improvements - Miles City MT
    The WPA allocated $10,807 for the improvement of "roads and alleys" in Miles City, MT in July 1938.
  • WPA Road Improvements - Red Lodge MT
    The WPA allocated $8,891 for the improvement of "roads and alleys" in Red Lodge, MT in July 1938.
  • WPA Road Improvements - Valier MT
    The WPA allocated $3,830 for the improvement of "streets, alleys, and sidewalks" in Valier, MT during July 1938.
  • WPA Sidewalks - Kalispell MT
    The WPA allocated $19,445 for 'sidewalks and curbs' within Kalispell, Montana in August 1938.
  • Yellowstone Avenue - Big Timber MT
    Big Timber's Pioneer newspaper reported in 1936 that the "completion of Yellowstone Trail through town" was one among several projects in the community that was attributable to the New Deal. The road, which today remains paved only in parts, is now known as Yellowstone Avenue.
  • Zimmerman Trail - Billings MT
    "In Billings, WPA work crews substantially re-engineered Zimmerman Trail, which was originally hacked into the Rimrocks in 1890 by brothers Joseph and Frank Zimmerman. The WPA crew of 100 to 150 laborers started the project in 1939 with the intention of finishing in four months. The work took at least seven months."
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