Pony Historic District

Town of Pony, SW of Harrison, Pony, Montana


Main Street

Photo taken by Arthur Rothstein FSA/OWI 1939, Library of Congress




"About 1866, a prospector of very small stature, Tecumseh "Pony" Smith, left his nickname attached to the creek where he found gold. In 1875, a settlement bearing his name grew to serve local miners. Pony's early population reflected the whims of gold miners, growing larger when a miner struck pay dirt and dwindling when someone found a bigger lode somewhere else. By the 1880s, mines like the Boss Tweed and Clipper were yielding fortunes in gold ore. Soon after, the Union Pacific Railroad extended its tracks to the town, and by 1895 Pony had a school, a public hall, two hotels, and numerous businesses. As the mines began to play out at the turn of the century, cyanide processing sparked new interest in the area. Pony prospered, acquiring telephone service, electricity, and a more urban appearance. Masons and carpenters produced splendid Queen Anne style residences and fine buildings of locally made materials, such as the Pony School and the Morris State Bank. Mining again waned after 1910, and Pony's economy shifted to serve the surrounding agricultural community. Today, log and frame structures of the 1870s and substantial buildings of the early twentieth century remain to chronicle Pony's evolution and tenacity, a town as small but sturdy as its namesake." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 4, 1987
Reference number
Architectural style
Victorian: Queen Anne
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce; Politics/Government; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Department store; Hotel; Single dwelling; Specialty store; Secondary structure; Financial institution
Current function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 95
Contributing structures: 1
Contributing sites: 5
Non-contributing buildings: 45


Brick (42,462)
District (10,506)
H.M. Patterson (2)
Log (2,299)
Madison County, Montana (92)
Montana (2,200)
Pony MRA (3)
Pony, Montana (3)
Private owner (54,398)
Queen Anne (5,131)
Stone (26,160)
Stucco (7,816)
Victorian (19,698)

Update Log 

  • August 5, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information
  • July 6, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody
  • June 25, 2019: New photos from David Jones
  • June 25, 2019: New photos from David Jones
  • May 28, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody
  • May 28, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody
  • May 28, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody
  • May 28, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody