For anyone who is looking to improve their property with a house or outbuildings, here is one heck of an opportunity:

Patriot Rail Company, which owns the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway, has vacated the section house complex at 915 S. Montana St. The company wants the buildings gone, and has applied for a demolition permit. But it's my understanding they would rather let somebody take the buildings and put them to good use than tear them down.

The complex includes six timber frame structures; all built in the 1920s out of solid dimensional lumber. These six buildings include a 33’x 28’ house (height - 25’), a 25’x 20.5’ two car garage (height - 16’), 42.5’ x 16’ 5” bunkhouse (height: 15’), a 12’ 4”x 20’ 4” single car garage (height - 9’ 3”), a 12’4” x 8’4” workshop (height - 11’ 4”), and another workshop building that is 10’ 3” x 12’ 4” and 11’ 4” tall. They are all in good condition for the most part, though most of the outbuildings need new roofing and a fresh coat of paint.

Of all the buildings, the house and two-car garage are the most impressive. The house is in the best condition and is sitting on a concrete foundation. It appears to have been very well cared for over the past 90-some years. The interior is complete and fully intact and boasts wood floors and some original fixtures. The double garage is among the best in town. It was built on a solid concrete pad and is very spacious. It is fully finished on the interior with wainscoting. The other garage, workshops, and bunkhouse are fine structures as well and would be good for a wide variety of uses.

It would be very expensive to rebuild buildings of this quality but would be relatively inexpensive to move them. For anyone willing to do it, the effort and investment would be well worth your time. Patriot Rail has been flexible as to when the buildings must be off the property. But time is short to make a deal as their demolition permit will be up for consideration at the next Historic Preservation Commission meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 5, in the Butte-Silver Bow County courthouse commission chambers.

Seriously interested persons can reach the Patriot Rail Real Estate/Industrial Development office at 904-513-9029.

Cameron J. Moylan, Butte, who appreciates old homes, describes himself as an historian and economist. 

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