In 2015, the Montana Preservation Alliance (MPA) launched the Big Sky Schoolhouse Survey in response to the publication of Visions & Voices: Montana’s One Room Schoolhouses. This comprehensive statewide architectural survey of Montana’s one- and two-room schoolhouses is just under halfway through as we enter 2020.
Montana’s rural schoolhouses are one of the largest undocumented heritage resources in the nation and are disappearing at an alarming rate. This survey seeks to address the gap in our knowledge as Montanans and hopes to protect
as many of these properties as possible.
With assistance from interns and volunteers, our goal is to locate and document every standing one and two-room schoolhouse across Montana, and provide technical assistance to the most threatened. But we cannot accomplish this on our own. This project is a massive undertaking and requires substantial support, we therefore encouraging those who are interested to volunteer their time, donate, or spread the word to keep this project moving. Read more about how you can support the Big Sky Schoolhouse Survey here.
In the long run, the MPA hopes to have a comprehensive record of the one and two-room schoolhouses still standing across Montana. This database will be accessible to preservationists and scholars hoping to learn more about education in the West, community gathering trends, and socio-economic patterns across time. Additionally, this list will help to prioritize schools with a high degree of historic integrity or strong chances for restoration & reintegration into local communities.
Lewis & Clark County Schoolhouses
This map provides an example of what we hope to have for each county in the state at the end of our Big Sky Schoolhouse Survey. Sometimes valuable history is at our finger tips, but without the right resources it can be hard to find and enjoy. Now you can dig into the history of endangered, vacant, and preserved one- and two-room schoolhouses near you with ease.
Using the Map
Click on the “Full Screen” icon in the upper right corner, then click on each icon. You can see photos and read history for each schoolhouse.
Many of the standing schoolhouses labeled in green can be viewed from the road. Most are private property so please be sure to contact the owner before visiting the building. Naturally the ones listed as Museums or Community Centers can be visited.
Those identified with yellow icons give you the unique opportunity to help with our survey! See the form below.
The red icons identify a schoolhouse which has been demolished or succumbed to the harsh Montana elements. The tours (which can be accessed by checking the box adjacent to the tour name) are organized to give you the quickest access to as many schoolhouses as possible.
Help Us Find Montana's One- and Two-Room Schoolhouses!
If you have information about a particular schoolhouse, please fill out and send the form below.
If you are interested in documenting all the standing schools in one county, see our Schoolhouse Survey Guidelines and call Christine Brown at 406-457-2822.