Fort Missoula’s Headquarters Building (and one-time church)

Fort Missoula’s chapel was completed in 1885 with a rectory and classrooms built on the north end. During the late 1930’s the Works Progress Administration allocated $15,300 to renovate the deteriorating chapel into a new post headquarters building. A concrete foundation was poured adjacent to the chapel and the building was jacked up during the summer of 1938 and moved over the foundation. The high-ceilinged chapel was converted into a two-story administration building, and new windows were added. A courtroom was built to handle disciplinary cases, a heating plant was installed in the basement, and electricity and phone lines were installed. The courtroom in Fort Missoula’s Headquarters Building was used by the US Department of Justice to conduct Alien Hearings Boards for Japanese and Italian citizens, and later for Army disciplinary hearings. It was leased to the Air Force between 1962 and 1965 and then to the US.Forest Service’s Equipment and Development center. The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula purchased the building  from the Forest Service in 2009 and has since restored the historic courtroom, which was revealed during renovations.  Dr. Robert M. Brown of the Historical Museum said “We didn’t know the courtroom was there. We didn’t know it was the church. We just loved the basement.”

Fort Missoula's Post Headquarters
Fort Missoula’s Post Headquarters

Fort Missoula’s Firehouse/Guardhouse

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May 1943 in Montana

• May 1 – A ceiling was established on restaurant prices.

• May 2 – The Daily Missoulian celebrated its 70th year of operation.

• May 6. A nationwide radio program, “Victory Parade of Spotlight Bands,” was broadcast from the Great Falls Army Air Base.

• May 11 – American troops invaded the Japanese-held island of Attu.

• May 13 – The last Axis troops in North Africa surrendered at Tunis. The USS Helena bombarded Japanese positions in the Solomons and was attacked by Japanese planes.

• May 16 – Nazis crushed Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto.

• May 30 – After heavy fighting, Americans completed occupation of Attu. Four Havre businesses were destroyed by fire.

April 1943 in Montana

Montana History Calendar 1942

Montana History Calendar 1941

Montana History Calendar 1930s

Interested in events that occurred during 1943 in Montana? Read More about  Montana’s Home Front During World War II