The cracked, rotted and leaking windows in the Alberton Community Center will soon be replaced after the town received a $4,940 grant earlier this month for the historic building.
Alberton received a grant through the Garnet Preservation Association, Incorporated, which runs the Montana Ghost Town License Plate program. By purchasing a Ghost Town license plate, vehicle owners sponsor historic places like the Alberton Railroad Depot.
What’s now the Alberton Community Center, the depot’s damages have created potential health and safety concerns for the public. Repairs could not be completed without external funding and the town of Alberton needed to meet the historic preservation standards.
“We are concerned about the deterioration that is evident in the windows of the building,” Alberton Seniors President Dana Fitzwilliams said in a letter of support. “It is important that the building remain safe and healthy for not only our group, but for the many others who use it for community activities.”
THE DEPOT serves many groups in town, including Alberton senior citizens, and is also home to the town library. It’s also used for many other meetings in Alberton including, town meetings, Alberton Ridge Runners, the Mineral County Health Department and by individual community members.
“As a historic building in the community, preserving the physical building is very important,” Alberton librarian Connie Acker said in a letter of support. She says none of the windows open and they are very drafty in the winter, causing much discomfort.
Historians designated the railroad depot a historical building in 1997 and was described as, “one of a limited number of depots remaining in the state of Montana that retain complete integrity of workmanship, materials and design as well as integrity of location.”
After the Milwaukee Railroad went bankrupt in the 1980s, the Town of Alberton bought the depot to use as the community center. Now, thanks to the Garnet Preservation Incorporated grant, the depot will receive window replacement from Montana Glass.
“It is important that a building that so embodies the history of this town receive the care needed to maintain its structural integrity,” Fitzwilliams said.