Image source: Moss Mansion
The Moss Mansion Historic House Museum captures early turn-of-the-century life of the Preston Boyd Moss family. Moss Mansion is a historic 1903 red sandstone structure located in Billings, Montana.
In 1903, entrepreneur Preston Boyd Moss (better known as ‘P.B.’) built the Moss Mansion, greatly influencing the culture of Billings, Montana. The mansion was designed by a well known New York based architect, Henry Janeway, who is also the designer of the original Waldorf Astoria and Plaza Hotels.
The mansion was built by engineers- R. J. Hardenbergh & E. H. Gagnon for an estimated cost of $105,000 including furnishing. The massive red stone, three storied English Renaissance mansion is now a very authentic historic house museum. The mansion is located on a two acre lot and includes twenty-eight rooms in its sixty feet square structure.
The mansion has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular tourist attraction in Billings. The huge, red-sandstone mansion has also been featured in many Hollywood movies and TV series, for its architectural designs and interiors, making it a popular site in the world. The mansion proved to be the perfect site for period films such as Son of the Morning Star and Return to Lonesome Dove.
Architecture of the Moss Mansion:
The mansion showcases inspired architecture, unrivaled craftsmanship and exquisite décor. Almost the entire house and its original fixtures remain intact. The modern day visitors get overwhelmed by the home’s amenities which include a call button system for the servants, among other impressive feats of technology for the period.
The mansion is not just a relic representing the early phase of architectural progress in Billings, it also tells us about the Moss family affairs through letters that were once shared among its members.
The mansion also has an attached solarium, where many plants and vegetables are grown. There are parlors, dining rooms, rest rooms, closets, libraries, sitting rooms and garden rooms, all throughout the mansion.
The interior of the moss mansion stands for a step back in time to the turn of the century, taking us back to the Moss family in their 1902 mansion. Almost all the sections of the mansion are kept intact; including all the wood paneling, walls with gold threading, hand painted walls and ceilings, marble fireplaces, columns and elegant décor, all similar to the original fixtures. Even the furniture drapes, carpets and Moss family artifacts, including many pieces of furniture, quilts and needlepoint, harp, paintings and china patterns are the same as it was a century ago. The architectural design of the Moss Mountain will make any visitor realize why it had cost $105,000 to build and furnish in the early 1900s.
The 45 feet tall mansion has been decorated with the ornate arch, inspired by the architecture of Alombra Castle in Spain. The mansion also includes English Tutor dining room full of beautiful, hand-crafted oak, mahogany and birch in its decor.
Moss Mansion visiting details:
House tours are available for $10.00, with discounts offered for seniors, military veterans, and children. Tour times are Tuesday-Sunday from 1 PM-4 PM, with the last tour starting at 3 o’clock.
Reservation is required for group consisting of more than 10 people. On the house tour trips, visitors are taken on an hour-long tour of the basement, and the first and second floors. The third floor that originally was the ballroom is closed for visitors. Tour guides follow with an entertaining one-hour tour of the home.
Location of Moss Mansion:
The Moss Mansion is located in Downtown section of Billings. It is easily accessible from both the airport and the interstate of the city.
To get to Moss Mansion from the Interstate, take Billings Exit 450 from I-90 to 3rd Avenue North, a one-way street which leads directly to the Moss Mansion. Parking is available on Yellowstone or Clark Avenues. (Clark Avenue is also a one-way street so it is necessary to drive around the block)
To get to Moss Mansion from Billings Logan International Airport, take Airport Drive down into the city center to 3rd Avenue North. The street is a one-way street which leads directly to the Moss Mansion. Parking is available at a parking lot on the corner of 3rd Avenue North and 34th Street.
Activities in Moss Mansion
Moss Mansion is a remarkable venue for any special occasion from elegant weddings to private gatherings, baby showers, tea parties and other festivities.
Image Source: Billings Gazette
Moss mansion is a perfect venue for couples willing to get married in a romantic setting with an historic twist.
The Moss Mansion showcases a variety of unique spaces for the perfect wedding day. The mansion consists of three lush surrounding gardens, ideal to add elegance and luxury in any wedding. It is a perfect venue for mesmerizing guests and relatives with a one-of-a-kind wedding experience. Furthermore, the guests can relax on the historic grounds, enjoy private guided tours of the mansion and go through the museum’s collections.
The grand staircase and the elaborate French Parlor inspired by Marie Antoinette of the Moss Mansion offers specially selected and unforgettable backdrops for wedding portraits. The reception and dancing can be held beneath the stars or under the vaulted ceilings of a spacious peaked tent as per the desire of the groom and bride.
Moss Mansion is a lively place for a variety of private events from holiday parties, baby showers, tea parties and any other elegant events.
Moss mansion also includes fine dining services underneath the stars in the beautiful gardens. Moss mansion is an elegant place to host any event to make it more memorable by adding a historic zing to it.
Annual calendar events in Moss Mansion
Moss mansion holds various annual events to raise fund and celebrate the historic landmark around the calendar year. The annual events include:
Spring Fest – June:
The Annual Spring Fest of the Moss Mansion in the month of June. Spring Fest showcases the traditions of handmade and heartfelt art and crafts. The show features work by artists and craftspeople from across Montana, Wyoming and Washington and juries pick the best work. The items for sale include pottery, metal art, paintings, fused glass, unique hand painted clothing, turned wooden bowls, jewelry and many more.
The festival also serves variety of food including tacos, burgers, homemade baked items and beverages to fuel the fun in Moss Mansion. The festival also features activities for kids, artist demonstrations, foot stomping musical acts, and a variety of dance performances to enjoy throughout the day.
The aim of the festival is to raise fund for the maintenance of the heritage of the Moss Mansion.
Candle light tour during Christmas– December:
The Christmas trees sparkle at night during Candlelight Tours. The mansion is decorated in traditional colors with the added delight of live music and dessert. The event tour is set up just like the Moss family originally did, during their living days. An early reservation is recommended as the tour is limited to few.
Annual party for preservation – Celebrity Waiter and Auction
The Billings Preservation Society & Endowment Trust cordially organizes Party for Preservation – Celebrity Waiter Dinner & Auction. The party is an occasion to enjoy an evening on the beautiful Moss Mansion grounds, along with our famous Celebrity Waiters, as they serve you dinner, drinks and laughs! It is a service full of entertainment with a motive to raise fund for the preservation of the Moss Mansion.
Moss mansion is a highly valued attraction in Billings, capable of hosting elaborate and excellent occasions. For making reservation for events in Moss Mansion contact the Moss Mansion Historic House Museum.
Haunted House and Twilight Tours – Halloween October
Moss Mansion is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of the Moss family, so Halloween fans can visit the haunted house and enjoy the spooky adventure. Moss Mansion has become an integral part of the neighborhood celebration in every Halloween.
The Moss Mansion annually sets the stage for spooky delight every Halloween. The grounds are transformed into a venue of thrills and chills. The Haunted House Maze at the Moss features terrifying rooms, creepy creatures and hideous haunts that change annually.
The Moss Mansion haunted house during the Halloween period is not for the faint of heart. For the year 2014, the mansion was transformed into ‘The Bender Inn’, inn run by serial killer family in the late 1800s. The live actors portrayed a family of these serial killers and guests were guided among the darkened rooms of the mansion with the sound effects of the scary stories of the Bender Family.
Twilight tours, Haunted House maze on the Moss Lawn, and Halloween Night for a Midnight Madness Tour are featured every Halloween in the Moss Mansion. The tickets costs are $13, $7 and $25 respectively for these tours.
Accommodation near Moss Mansion, Billings:
The best accommodation near Moss Mansion, Billings is Western Inn Motel located in 3311 2nd Avenue North Billings, MT 59101. The 2-star hotel is only 200 yards from the Moss mansion.
The Motel is capable of accommodating all the guests for weddings in Moss Mansion at affordable prices. Western Inn Motel is one of the most reputed family-owned hotels in Billings, Montana, serving all the needs of traveling guests.
The motel also provides free shuttle services (8 AM to 11 PM) to Billings International Airport, free Parking lot service and includes pet friendly room for genuine homely stay.