Philipsburg Historic District

Also known as: Granite County Jail
Roughly bounded by Gamma St. and Cleveland Ave., Montgomery, Madison and Duffy, and Cedar and McDonald Sts., Philipsburg, Montana


East Kearney Street

St. Andrew's Church to Granite County Jail

Photo taken by Richard Doody in September 2018




"Philipsburg’s early-day fortunes ebbed and flowed with mining. Today, its historic district is one of Montana’s best preserved late-nineteenth-century mining towns, with commercial, public, and private buildings dating from the boom period of silver mining. Silver was discovered south of here in 1864, and only three years later Philipsburg (at an elevation of 5,270 feet) was growing at the “rate of one house per day,” an area newspaper reported. That same year, the St. Louis and Montana Company sent Philip Deideshimer (for whom the town was named) to Philipsburg to help develop and manage its mines and stamp mills. Only two years later, the nearby Hope Mill shut down and Philipsburg was largely deserted. A revival of mining activities from the mid-1880s to mid-1890s led to Philipsburg’s greatest growth, when tens of millions of dollars worth of silver bullion, ore, and slag were shipped to out-of-state markets. The wooden, false-front buildings on Broadway were replaced with masonry structures. When silver mining was curtailed in 1893, recently discovered sapphire deposits helped stabilize the local economy. That year also saw the creation of Granite County, with Philipsburg as county seat. During World War I, Philipsburg was the largest supplier of domestic manganese, which led to another boom for the area. After that boom, Philipsburg has slipped into a stable existence based on agriculture, government, logging, limited mining, and tourism." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1986
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Classical Revival; American Movement: Bungalow/Craftsman; Victorian
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Courthouse; Single dwelling
Current functions
Single dwelling; Courthouse
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1925-1949
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 154
Non-contributing buildings: 68

Update Log 

  • August 5, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information
  • October 2, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • September 23, 2018: New photo from Richard Doody