Big Sky Schoolhouse Survey

Montana’s rural schoolhouses are among the largest undocumented heritage resources in the nation and are disappearing at an alarming rate. To help solve this problem, Preserve Montana launched one of the most comprehensive projects in our organization’s history in 2015.

This project is funded in part by coal severance taxes paid based upon coal mined in Montana and deposited in Montana’s cultural and aesthetic projects trust fund.

Map of Progess as of January 2021

Project Goals

By addressing the gap in our knowledge, we hope to achieve the following goals with the help of Montanan’s from across the state.

  • Document every standing one- and two-room school.
  • Protect & preserve as many properties as possible.
  • Maintain records of all leveled schoolhouses.
  • Provide scholarly access to our comprehensive database.
  • Expand public awareness & support for preservation.
  • Supply reports, photos, and historical research to
    local museums & historical groups.

Progress Report

  • 450 Schoolhouses Documented
  • 70,000 Square Miles Surveyed
  • 31 County Surveys Complete
  • 10 County Surveys Underway
  • 2,800 Hours of Volunteer Work
  • 50+ Volunteers Engaged

Get Involved

We are still in need of passionate Montanan’s to help complete this project. To learn more about getting involved or to share your research with us please contact us by clicking the link button below.