The “New” Victorian-Style Northern Pacific Depot (1895-1896)

The Northern Pacific passenger depot was originally located between Woody and Harris (Orange), a couple blocks west of where it is today.  In 1895 the City Council voted to vacate a railroad crossing at Higgins Avenue so that the railroad could build a grand new depot at the head of the street that was by now Missoula’s main drag. North-siders were vehemently opposed to the crossing closure because that meant they had to travel several blocks out of their way to get downtown.  Although the workers were harassed by opponents, construction was nearly complete when the glorious new depot mysteriously burned down in July 1896 while the members of the fire department were playing ball across the river.  Undaunted, the railroad rebuilt using a more modern design.  That building, completed in 1899, stands today.

Courtesy Bob Oaks

Courtesy Bob Oaks

 

Passenger station never used

Victorian depot nearing completion. Courtesy Bob Oaks.

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