Letter to the Editor

Neglect of the Norton House frustrating, disappointing
Thursday, August 9, 2018

Neglect of the Norton House frustrating, disappointing

When I pass the Norton House standing neglected beside the courthouse, I feel frustrated and disappointed.

It is a highly visible relic listed on the National Record of Historic Places, but forgotten by many and deliberately disacknowledged by both the Stillwater County Commissioners and the Stillwater County Historic Society, a body one would expect to have at least a passing interest.

A history of the house and its original owner can be found in “Colonel William H. Norton: Shadowing Montana History” available on Amazon.com and, presumably, on sale at the museum (all royalties go to the museum).

I am unable to continue an effort initiated several years ago to restore the house, but if anyone is interested in taking on and leading the effort, please contact me at NORTON1899@AOL.COM or 322-5295.

I have a comprehensive architectural and structural engineering review completed in 2014 that shows the viability of the project with estimated costs. I also have a project plan, suggestions for future utilization of the house, proposed by-laws for a not-for-profit corporation necessary for fundraising, draft of an agreement with the county to transfer possession of the building to that corporation and other information that can be provided.

Fundraising would not include tax payer contributions or dependence on local support. Preliminary work has been completed.

We should not let this asset deteriorate further and become a symbol of neglect and disinterest in our heritage.

Bill Hagen

Columbus

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