Lavina, Montana

Lavina Head 2

Named for a Sweetheart
by Margaret Lehfeldt and
Mary Morsanny

  Lavina was founded just forty miles north of the Northern Pacific railhead in Billings by one of the Territory's best known pioneers, T.C. Power.
  In earlier years, T.C. Power was well established in Fort Benton at the time that fortified fur post changed into a thriving city when rush to the gold mines increased river trade on the Upper Missouri.
T.C. Power knew until 1880 Central Montana abounded in wildlife with thousands of buffalo but was practically uninhabited. Never-the-less, he knew with the coming of the railroad envisioned a stage line to answer the demand for a direct over-land route to connect the railroad with his holdings in Fort Benton so in May of 1882 he organized the Billings - Benton Stage Company. It was the first north-south line to carry mail on coaches.
  About midway on the stage line there was the river that cut its age-old course through the trees and tall grass meadows of the wide Musselshell Valley. Where there was a good ford, he chose an ideal site for a station, and said "With Clate Warner and other hired help, we put up stage stables, mess house, bunk house for the men to sleep in, a store, and of course my saloon. That was the biggest business of them all." Even though he was appointed as the first post master, he made the rounds of the stage line every month but none of the stations pleased him as much as the one on the south bank of the Musselshell, and in memory of a former sweetheart, Walter Burke named it Lavina.
   As the Musselshell Valley settled up thick in the summer of 1882, the stage stop became known as Old Lavina and it was a hub of activity.
  The bell tolled for Old Lavina when the surveyors chose a new town site a mile downstream in the wide bend of the Musselshell that had been the old Indian campground. A few months later on February 16, 1908, the first passenger train steamed past the old stage stop and pulled up to the depot in what was now New Lavina.*

* taken from "Bicentennial Golden Valley County Heritage '76"

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Lavina Public School

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The Adams Hotel

The Adams Hotel

The big white hotel, The Adams, was built by L.C. Lehfeldt and completed in 1908. It had twenty-two rooms including the huge dining room, lobby, kitchen, and bar. Upstairs, at the head of the stairs was a large parlor. It was probably the most elegant of its kind in the area, having pure linen sheets, down comforters, a decorated china bowl and pitcher in every one of the carpeted rooms. The Adams was known for its warm hospitality. This building remains as it was originally built with all of its grandeur, secrets and memories (DIGV 1971). The Adams is now owned as a private residence.

Lavina Senior Center

Lavina Senior Center

Lavina Links:

Business Listing:  A look at the businesses of Lavina.
-if you have a business, and would like to be added to the listing, please pick up a form from the Courthouse in Ryegate.

Business Opportunities:  Information on programs the county has in place to encourage economic growth within Lavina and the county.

Come Home Montana: Visit Lavina on the Come Home Montana web site.

Lavina Facts:

Latitude & Longitude:
46 Degrees & 15 Minutes North Latitude
108 Degrees & 52 Minutes West Longitude

Population: 151 (1990 Census)

Nearest Airport: - local light aircraft landing strip
- 45 miles to Logan International Airport, Billings MT

Courthouse, Clerk & Recorder, Dept, About GVCSheriff, Business Opportunities, EMS, History,
GVC Weather, Commissioners, Treasurer, Road, Vehicle Recycling, J P Court, Lavina, Ryegate

Last Updated: Oct. 2007. Send questions and comments to
Site designed by Shana Mattheis - Maintained by Craig Mattheis