Moss Mansion Museum, Billings, Montana

Will Beck
Last Updated: March 4th, 2023

Designed by New York architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, the turn of the century Moss Mansion Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The beautiful building is now known as a cultural center of Billings, with daily tours, special events, and loads of historical interest for the whole family to enjoy.

What’s the history behind the Moss Mansion Museum?

history behind the moss mansion museum

The Moss Mansion Museum was originally built in 1903 as the family home of Preston Moss and his family, including his wife Mattie, and their six children, as well as three servants.

Melville Moss (middle daughter of the Moss family) insisted that the home stayed in the family and she lived in the home until 1984 when she passed.

At the time of the building, the house cost $105,000 to build when the national average for building a new home was a mere $5,000.

The mansion was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, the same architect who designed the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Willard Hotel, Fairmont Copley Plaza, and the Dakota in New York.

The three-story single-family dwelling with a basement also has an attached solarium, 28 rooms, and is built of red sandstone from Lake Superior. The architecture styles used in the home vary quite a bit with everything from French Rococo to Moorish design.

The interior of the home is as impressive as you’d expect, with wood paneling, walls made with gold threading, marble fireplaces, columns, and even a vintage intercom system which are all original to the home.

The mansion is fitted with original fixtures, furniture, carpet, and drapes, with much of the Moss children’s furniture that has been returned to the home for posterity.

Quilts, needlepoint, and other creative works of the children adorn the walls, while paintings, china, and similar family possessions still adorn the home.

The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places, owned by the city of Billings and the state of Montana to preserve the original beauty and authenticity of the building, grounds, and interiors.

Thanks to the incredible design and maintained settings, the mansion has been used for filming historical period pieces including Return to Lonesome Dove and Son of the Morning Star.

What’s going on the at Moss Mansion Museum?

moss mansion museum

Interested in visiting the museum? Check out their website, call them up for a reservation, or check their calendar to find out what’s going on today at the Moss Mansion Museum.

  • 914 Division St., Billings, MT
  • 406-256-5100
  • Summer hours 2022
  • Guided tours Monday, Wednesday through Saturday at 10 am and 1 pm
  • Open hours: Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 3 pm (no guided tours), Monday from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Closed Tuesdays
  • Season: Year-round
  • Standard block out dates: New Year’s Eve and Day, annual cleaning in January, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween Day, November 1 to 12, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and Day – Check calendar for any unique block out dates for private events
  • Self-paced tour fees: Adults $12, Seniors and Veterans $10, Students 6 to 18 $8, Children 5 and under free
  • Guided tours $15 per person
  • Discounts: Museums for All rate with ID $3
  • Private and group tours $20 per person, and children under 5 free
  • Group and private tours are available only by appointment
  • Parking: Parallel parking is available on Yellowstone and Clark Avenues, as well as the corner lot of 3rd Avenue and 34th Street

Is there a gift shop at the Moss Mansion Museum?

The museum contains a delightful gift shop in the basement of the museum which is open during tour hours. Here you’ll find books, mugs, clothing, toys, jewelry, mementos of your visit, and other trinkets and curiosities.

The gift shop is also open during many of the special events and fundraisers at the mansion so check it out when you drop in.

Does the Moss Mansion Museum offer any other tours?

The Moss Mansion Museum does in fact offer two other regular tours in Billings.

Specialty Tours

For private tours, group tours over 10 guests, school tours, etc., reservations are required with advance payment. Special rates may apply.

There are also Trunks and Treasures specialty tours. Call for more information.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Historic Neighborhood

The Moss Mansion Museum offers paper copies of the guide for your self-guided walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding the mansion.

The private homes along the tour may be viewed from the street while you read the history of the various buildings along the tour route.

Stop at the admission desk during business hours to obtain the tour guide papers.

What kinds of events are there at the Moss Mansion Museum?

Apart from the usual daily tours, the Moss Mansion Museum is often hosting a variety of private events such as weddings, photo shoots (indoors and outdoors), private parties, and more.

The museum also runs a series of community-focused events, such as the Harry Potter and the Missing Horcrux Scavenger Hunt, the Moss Mansion SpringFest, Annual Cigar Dinner in June, Harry Potter Summer Camp, and the Harry Potter Chamber of Spirits 5-part cocktail experience.

Moss Mansion Museum Conclusion

For a beautiful glimpse of the world of 100+ years ago, visit the Moss Mansion Museum. The beautiful, large mansion holds treasures of the past in loving care, maintaining the quality and authenticity of the building with the solarium, gardens, and more.

Take a self-guided tour, reserve a guided tour slot, private tour, or even event space.

Be sure to check the calendar in advance for the exciting events on, accurate tour times, and any special closings for private events.

Related Articles

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with travel a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than hitting the road in his self-build campervan and visiting off-the-beaten-path places, away from popular tourist destinations.

Leave a Comment