Today, the Depot is the only remaining railroad structure of the Great Northern Railroad that once extended from Great Falls to Monarch, Barker, and Neihart, Montana.
Because of holes in the roof and rotted walls, the Monarch-Neihart Historical Group (MNHG) determined the depot could not be preserved in its dilapidated condition, and so consulted with Davidson Kuhr Architects, who completed a condition assessment of the depot in 2012. Since then, we have completed the removal of much dirt that was pushed up against the depot when the MDOT (Montana Department of Transportation) was using it for storage, etc. The removal of the dirt shows the need for a foundation, replacement of the sills and floor joists, and several feet of deterioration as a result of the dirt and moisture.
It is our intent to restore the depot back to its 1902 architectural integrity.
Scroll down to see what the depot conditions were like before we began restoration, and the improvements we made during 2015-2016.
To date, 2017 restoration work
Freight Room Restoration
In November, Bob and Hugh spent two weeks working on the freight room, which included finishing out the windows. After closely examining their work, Bob's faithful 5 1/2 year old Boxer, Harlee, gave the room her final approval. Good job, guys!
Exterior and platform improvements
It took two of us working 14 days to scrape the old paint and fill in the nail/woodpecker holes. We very much thank the Great Falls Railroad Museum for donating all four switch signals! The platform is coming along, and we are most grateful for the donated stove and hand cart, which we rebuilt and refurbished. Power is now installed too.
Depot conditions before we began restoration and excavation
2015 Summer Excavation Work
2015-2016 Depot Restoration Work Continues
Monarch-Neihart Historical Group, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Monarch-Neihart Historical Group, Inc. conducts its affairs so as to maintain this status. Tax I.D. #: 46-1853767.