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Review of Moss Mansion

Moss Mansion
Ranked #2 of 63 things to do in Billings
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: We invite you to visit this beautiful historic home in the heart of Billings, Montana. Our summer hours end on Labor Day and are 10am to 3pm. Regular (winter) hours are 1pm to 3pm. We are closed Mondays. In 1903, entrepreneur Preston Boyd Moss (better known as "P.B.") built the Moss Mansion, greatly influencing the culture of Billings, Montana. Designed by New York architect, Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, designer of the original Waldorf Astoria and Plaza Hotels, the mansion showcases inspired architecture, unrivaled craftsmanship and exquisite decor. The mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has graced the silver screen on several occasions as the perfect site for period films such as Son of the Morning Star and Return to Lonesome Dove. Although the youngest daughter, Melville Moss, resided in the home until the mid-80's, the house and its original fixtures remain intact. Modern day visitors marvel at the home's amenities which include a call button system for the servants, among other impressive feats of technology for the period. The home not only records the activities of early Billings development but also interprets the inner workings of the family through letters shared among its members. Today the mission of the Billings Preservation Society (the operating entity), symbolized by the Moss Mansion, is to inspire, to educate and to facilitate historic and cultural preservation activities for the community and for its future generations. The Moss Mansion welcomes thousands of visitors each year to enjoy a guided or group tour, explore the gardens and gift shop and experience a variety of signature community events. Many volunteers and a small staff are responsible for daily operations of the Moss Mansion. The museum and gift shop are open Tuesday through Sunday - summer hours include daily guided tours that start on the hour from 10am to 3pm, regular hours (Sept through May) 1pm to 3pm. The beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens are free to the public and are also open year-round.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Billings, Montana
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2014

As spring turns to Summer, the flora and fauna are currently absolutely gorgeous! The grounds alone are worth the trip to this one of a kind historic site!

Visited June 2014
2 Thank Rmclb20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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183 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Pataskala, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“1903 Captured in Time”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Patrons have the opportunity to take a guided tour through the Moss Mansion built in1903. Upon approaching the home one should realize that the home cost over $103,000.00 dollars to build at a time when an average home cost $3,000.00 and the local hospital, built at the same time, cost under 1/2 that amount. Although much of the writing about the mansion revolves around PB Moss and the architect Henry Hadenbergh, I would have loved to have heard more about PB's wife Mattie (Woodson) Moss. She was an artist and musician. Wallcoverings with silver and gold inlay, light fixtures which match ceiling and structural design, woodwork and fireplaces that are works of art all fill the mansion. All reflect the talent of an artist.

To improve upon the tour, I would have liked to have the tour set (verbally) into the early 1900's. Bringing out occasions documented in the press that related to the family. Nonfictional story telling; not just fact.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank Kathy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, CA
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
“Beautiful Historic Mansion in Downton Billings”
Reviewed 22 May 2014

MOSS MANSION is an absolute gem in the heart of downtown Billings. Take a remarkable step back into time to the early 1900’s. This red-stone mansion was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh who created the original Waldorf Astoria and Plaza Hotels in New York City. Preston Boyd Moss had the home built in 1903 for his wife Mattie and their six children. It was an amazingly expensive home for its day and it brought some style and elegance to tiny Billings, Montana. Through the years, Mattie bought stylish furniture and decorations on her many travels to send back to Moss Mansion

If you visit, Billings, don’t miss Moss Mansion. Here is a chance to learn a bit about the history of Billings in the home of the man who might be called the father of Billings. Unlike in other historic mansions, Moss Mansion is much the same as it always was. It is complete with most of its original furniture, drapes, wall hangings and so on. The youngest Moss child, Melville Moss remained in the home until her death in 1984, changing very little.

I visited the house in early April and was the only person on my tour. The delightful tour guide had grown up a few blocks away and remembered this seemingly magical house with the mysterious elderly occupant. Her stories were delightful as were her explanations of the furniture and features and history of the home and the Moss family.

Entrance is downstairs through the small gift shop. Restrooms are outside. Unfortunately, no photography is allowed inside the home. The tour begins with an informative video on the history of the Moss Mansion and the Moss family. The tour lasts about 1 hour.

Be sure to check opening hours. They are very limited during the Winter and Spring Months. Anyone interested in history or stately homes can’t miss Moss Mansion. I was pleasantly surprised at my visit. Moss Mansion is truly a place where history comes alive. Don’t miss it.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Jackbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronxville, New York
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Worth a visit while in Billings”
Reviewed 13 April 2014

I have been to a lot of beautiful old homes. What makes this one stand out is that so much of the original furnishings, artwork, wall coverings, curtains, etc., are still there. Tour guides are knowledgeable. I love beautiful old homes that were built in a time when things were built to last (they have an icebox from the 40s that is still in use). Also, the use of various architectural styles is interesting and beautiful. If you feel the same way, this is worth the one hour house tour and 15 minutes roaming the grounds.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank kjtv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
western U.S.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Don't miss it!”
Reviewed 28 November 2013

Tucked away in the center of town is this jewel of a home. The interiors and fixtures are, in themselves, works of art. The house as a whole is a glimpse into the life and times of turn of the century entrepreneurs. My tour in late November was led by a fantastic knowledgeable hometown guide; 1:1 interaction was great. Probably not for small children, easy parking and access.

Visited November 2013
3 Thank Tripmonkey09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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