Lost to Our Community

Once lost, gone forever.

Sadly, many important features of our historic built environment ihas been lost. Each change on our landscape is small and incremental compared to the whole, yet each removal leaves fewer stsories on our landscape. Once lost, gone forever.

While it is not possible to save everything, each historic structure and element should be carefully analysized for preservation or adaptive reuse. Many more have been lost; these are the ones BRCHT endeavored to save.


Water Tower, Hamilton


The Old City of Hamilton Water Tower southeast of Hamilton was replaced in 2004 with a million gallon pre-stressed, post-tensioned concrete underground reservoir.


The water tower's fate was sealed when the developer of the nearby residential subdivision secured the City's promise to remove the tank when a new facility was constructed. 


This wast the last 19th century industrial strure was the last example in the County.

The Silver Bridge, Hamilton


"Constructed in 1940 at the end of the New Deal years of the Great Depression, the Silver Bridge was one of only eight continuous span through truss structures designed and built by the Montana Highway Department. The bridge is associated with Montana’s program to upgrade its transportation infrastructure during the 1930s by using the most modern and up-to-date bridge designs. The bridge is also associated with the socio-economic development of the scenic Bitterroot River. The Silver Bridge is an excellent example of a relatively rare bridge type in Montana, that was constructed in the state from 1933 to 1946. Historian: Jon Axline, Montana Department of Transportation, September 2005


The old Silver Bridge was removed in 2008 with the widening of Highway 93. The sharp angle of the bridge as it turned to cross the river had proved dangerous and a more propitious crossing favored returning the river to a more natural course.


Citizens worked with the Montana Department of Transportation to save a portion of the bridge adaptively reused as a picnic platform on MDT openspace adjacent to the crossing envisioned as a city park. The City of Hamilton, initally in facor of the plan, decided at the last moment, not to support it. 


The bridge was cut up and sold as scrap metal.

If you know of an historic site that is being threatened, please contact us to learn more about the potential for preservation or adaptive reuse. Call 406 360-7019 or email info@BRCHT.org


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© 2015 by Bitter Root Cultural Heritage Trust