“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hamilton in Ravalli County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Telephone Exchange

Telephone Exchange Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
1. Telephone Exchange Marker
Inscription.  State officials turned out on January 21, 1937, for the grand opening of Hamilton’s new telephone system. The event marked the modernization of telecommunications in the Bitterroot Valley. Ivan C. Gustafson owned this property and built the building, according to the telephone company’s specifications, for its exclusive use. The old quarters in the Teidt Building on Second Street had been home to Hamilton’s telephone office for a quarter of a century. That facility had a huge six-operator switchboard, but only two operators were needed at any given time. This streamlined facility offered a much more compact, two-person switchboard. A public phone booth, unlocked at all times, opened on Main Street to simplify night calls. In addition to its own hot water plant and stoker, the building’s amenities included an operators’ restroom off the main office, “fitted with modern lockers and a davenport,” and a two-car garage at the rear. The building of red brick features a prominent Romanesque arched entry and buff-colored brick trim. The small apartment was added in 1952, and the telephone exchange operated here until 1964
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Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Communications. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 21, 1937.
Location. 46° 14.808′ N, 114° 9.593′ W. Marker is in Hamilton, Montana, in Ravalli County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (State Highway 531) and 4th Street, on the left when traveling west on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 345 West Main Street, Hamilton MT 59840, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 337 West Main (here, next to this marker); United States Post Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Hamilton Commercial Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Carnegie Library (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); City Hall (about 400 feet away); First National Bank (about 700 feet away); Daly Mansion (approx. 1.7 miles away).
Telephone Exchange and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
2. Telephone Exchange and Marker
The marker is in two parts on either side of the entrance arch.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 20, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 115 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 20, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Sep. 28, 2023