MISCO Grain Elevator

700 N. Wallace, Bozeman, Montana


MISCO Grain Elevator

Photo taken by David Jones in May 2019




"Gallatin County boasted twenty-seven grain elevators in 1915, a testament to farming’s important economic role. Despite drought and low commodity prices, Montana Mercantile added this towering elevator to the Bozeman skyline in 1933. It added the warehouse portion a few years later. Situated next to the train tracks and the Bon Ton Flour Mill, the elevator expressed the wholesaler’s faith in Montana’s agricultural future. The building was one of very few grain elevators constructed during the Great Depression between Minneapolis and Seattle. Concrete elevators had become increasingly popular after 1920, but the wooden MISCO grain elevator was built using a much older “crib technique.” To create walls strong enough to resist the pressure of thousands of tons of grain, carpenters stacked planks two inches tall and six inches wide, joining them with spikes and overlapping them at the corners. Narrower two-by-fours were used above the shoulder. Large sliding doors let farmers drive loaded trucks onto a scale above the “boot,” where they dumped their harvest. A vertical belt and bucket conveyor would then lift the grain up to the cupola (or head house), from where it traveled to a storage bin. There it remained until elevator operators loaded it into railway freight cars for shipment out of state. In 1956, the Missoula Mercantile sold the elevator to businessman Walter Teslow. When the elevator was built, Teslow oversaw its construction as the manager of Missoula Mercantile’s eastern division. By 1956, he had his own business, operating eighteen grain elevators across the state." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 23, 1987
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Cribbed lumber
Areas of significance
Architecture; Agriculture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Rail-related; Storage
Current functions
Music facility; Manufacturing facility
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • July 15, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information
  • May 16, 2019: New photos from David Jones