Great Falls-Cascade County Historic Preservation Officer
The Boston and Montana Barn was built in 1901 to house wagons, horses, and construction equipment for the Boston and Montana Company, which pre-dated the Anaconda Copper Mining Company's smelting and refining operations in Black Eagle, MT. Construction of the "Big" stack began in 1908, and by 1915, the properties of the Boston and Montana Company were acquired by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company.
The barn is a two-story, wood-framed, gable-roofed structure built in a T-plan oriented north-south on the south end of the Anaconda Hills golf course. The barn has a sandstone foundation and is situated on a small rise that slopes down to the east and the south. It is the only remaining industrial building on the former 405 acre ACM site.
The barn has served a variety of industrial support uses over its approximately 120 year history. For an unknown period of time, it served as a fire station for the ACM facility. Three finished bedrooms lined the northwest wall of the rear (west) wing, which housed the firemen. According to the Sanborn map, the rear wing was protected by an automatic sprinkler system. According to oral reports, firemen and others liked to play basketball on the second floor east wing. They removed the structural supports in order to have a clear-span, weakening the structural system.
Based on Sanborn maps, the barn was being used for automobiles and storage in 1929 and in 1950 the second floor had a gymnasium, while the first floor was still sued for storage and automobiles. The City of Great Falls Parks and Recreation Department used the barn until it became too dilapidated; it was used for golf card and other storage to support recreational needs.
Today, the barn stands unused. Each year the roof keeps out less and less of the winter weather, and each year the hop of saving some piece of its proud industrial beginnings grows smaller. If this piece of ACM history is to be saved, urgent action needed to be taken.