The Monarch Neihart Historical Group is dedicated to preserving the rich history of Montana’s 19th century settlers, miners, loggers, ranchers, and remnant of the railroad industry that served all of them well for decades. The Great Northern Railway initially stopped at the Railroad Depot in Monarch to haul lead and silver to Great Falls, but the railroad was soon used for other purposes by locals. For instance, farmers and ranchers used the railroad to transport livestock and grain. Fishermen used the railroad to transport themselves and their catch to and from Belt Creek. In fact, transporting passengers to fishing spots became so popular that the Great Northern provided a Sunday Fishing Train to and from Belt Creek!
The Monarch Great Northern Railway Depot reflects aspects of the region’s cultural, recreational, agricultural, and industrial history, but the building was neglected for forty years and fell into extreme disrepair. The Monarch Neihart Historical Group has been in the process of repairing the building since 2014. This is MHF’s second grant to the Monarch Neihart Historical Group to assist with the restoration process. This grant helped stabilize the walls of the depot by installing internal bracing, excavating to expose rotting wood, and laying a new foundation. We look forward to seeing the renovated depot in future years!