Miles City Academy (Ursuline Convent)

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Miles City Academy (Ursuline Convent)
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1411 Leighton Boulevard,Miles City 59301,Southeast Montana

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The first Ursuline Convent in the Rocky Mountains opened in Miles City on January 18, 1884. Six teaching sisters of the order of St. Ursula from Toledo, Ohio, came to Montana invited by Father Lindesmith, Fort Keogh chaplain. Bishop Brondel requested that three of the sisters settle in Miles City. The three remaining “Lady Black Robes” traveled south led by Superior Mother Amadeus Dunne to establish St. Labre’s Mission among the Northern Cheyenne.

The Convent of the Sacred Heart enrolled both sons and daughters of settlers from all over eastern Montana. Twenty dollars a month paid for their “board, tuition, and washing.” In 1897, a fire destroyed the convent. Local ranchers and merchants donated land and prominent Helena architect Charles S. Haire was commissioned to design a new academy. The three-story brick and stone structure, constructed in formal Colonial Revival style with distinctive Romanesque and Queen Anne elements was completed in 1902.

A central entrance pavilion with four wooden columns supports a triangular pediment. Palladian windows and a rounded tower capped by a conical roof add pleasing visual interest. The well-preserved landmark is an apt tribute to the Ursuline Sisters, marking their contribution to the building of Montana and dedicated service to her children.

Dominican Sisters of Everett, Washington, and Presentation Sisters of Aberdeen, South Dakota, taught from the Convent until 1978. From 1978–1991, the Mental Health Center leased the Convent for clinical offices and day treatment. In the fall of 1991, when the parish decided to demolish the Convent, a small group of volunteers banded together as “Convent Keepers.” With $9,000 pledged from area people in ten days, the Convent was saved for a Community Center. Monthly rental of rooms and hospitality offered for special events keep up the maintenance expenses. Generous donations and fundraisers keep exterior restoration in progress.

Reprinted from Ursuline Convent brochure.

GMT -11:00
Opening hours
Monday
Closed
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed
Walk-ins welcome for a self-guided tour Special openings and hours on Saturday and Sunday Events can be planned

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