Montana Historical Society

Big Sky. Big Land. Big History.

Montana's historic communities are as diverse as the Big Sky country. Most community histories intertwine Native American traditions, frontier adventure, resource development, railroad empire-building, and agricultural settlement to form a tapestry of local culture and heritage. These strands of history stretch from buffalo days to the present; the experiences of first peoples, missionaries, miners, traders, homesteaders, loggers, and ranchers are each a part of the experience that is Montana.

Historic Barn, Dillon

From these historical beginnings grew downtowns and neighborhoods that now form the core of our communities. At Montana State Historic Preservation Office, we help people from every corner of our state to build upon their roots, preserve their legacy, and keep their communities vibrant. Our Community Preservation program lends a hand to those working to maintain Montana's historic character in small-towns, urban centers, and residential neighborhoods, and rural landscapes.
Montana's Community Preservation program, also known as the Certified Local Government (CLG) program, is a time-tested means of preserving communities. The program is based upon an appreciation of the community's historic patterns, architectural styles, influential architects and builders, significant people and events, and historic and prehistoric archeology.

In partnership with the National Park Service under the National Historic Preservation Act, we certify local governments with historic preservation programs, provide technical preservation assistance, and annually dedicate 10% of our federal funding to cities, towns, and counties that commit themselves to preserving their heritage under the program. Each receives $1,000 to $5,000, depending on their level of activity and the federal allocation, to spend in ways that best assist their community's local preservation needs.

Training presentations for historic preservation officers, local preservation commissioners, and interested public.

Contact information for CLG Communities.

For an electronic copy of the CLG Manual click the image to the left, or download here.

For more information about the Certified Local Government program or to pursue certification for your community, please visit the National Park Service CLG homepage. If you have any further questions please contact Kate Hampton, Community Preservation Coordinator, at or by phone at 406-444-7742.


**The (activity) which is the subject of this (type of publication) has been financed (in part/entirely) with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, and administered by the State Historic Preservation Office of Montana. The contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of the Interior or the Montana Historic Preservation Office, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior or Montana Historic Preservation Office.

This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, or disability in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to:

Office for Equal Opportunity
National Park Service
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240

Sixteen Montana CLG communities

Anaconda-Deer Lodge County
Billings-Yellowstone County
Butte-Silver Bow County
Carbon County
Columbus-Stillwater County
Deer Lodge
Great Falls-Cascade County
Hardin-Big Horn County
Havre-Hill County
Lewis & Clark County
Miles City
Virginia City


Historic Walking Tours


Biking Bozeman's Boundaries
Carbon County Driving Tour
Great Falls Rivers Edge Tour
Great Falls Railroad District Tour
Havre Residential & Business District
Helena West Main Street
Helena's West Side
Helena's West Side Architectural Tour
Historical Walking Tour of Kalispell
Historic Walking Tour of Livingston
Miles City
Missoula Riverfront Trail
Nevada City
Red Lodge

Historic walking tour brochures are available by contacting our office. You can also visit   Historic Montana  or download the Historic Montana App from your favorite app store for additional tours.