Twin Bridges Orphanage

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Twin Bridges Orphanage
Established 1893
Construction Began 1892
Opened 1894
Closed 1976
Current Status For Sale
Building Style Cottage Plan
Architect(s) Victorian/Queen Anne
Location Twin Bridges, MT
Peak Patient Population 200-300
Alternate Names
  • Montana State Children's Center
  • Montana State Orphans Home
  • Montana State Home for Children



History[edit]

Opened in 1894 by the state of Montana outside Twin Bridges. The 26 acre facility had 26 buildings by the time it closed in 1975; consisting of "The Castle", which was what students called the large Victorian Queen Anne-style main building, a gymnasium, schoolhouse, multiple boys' and girls' cottages, a pre-school house, a grade school house, a high school house, a teachers cottage, carpentry shop, power-house, an auditorium, and others. In the 1950's, the cottages underwent a remodel and a new "food center" was built, movies were shown in the auditorium, dancing classes were given, religious sermons were given by local Reverends, and additional playground equipment was added. The Great Depression greatly effected the orphanage, and the number of children at the orphanage was higher at this time than it would ever be; reportedly between 200 and 300 children. There is a small cemetery of 95 graves at the Montana Children's Center (formerly Twin Bridges Orphanage) for children that died at the Center. The orphanage closed in 1976 due to a shortage in state funding, and a slow decrease in children over the past decades of campaign against institutionalization.