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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Great Falls in Cascade County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Great Falls West Bank Historic District

 
 
Great Falls West Bank Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 19, 2019
1. Great Falls West Bank Historic District Marker
Inscription.  An eclectic cultural landscape has long characterized the West Bank. Separated from downtown Great Falls by the broad Missouri River, the larger neighborhood has hosted a varied mix of industrial, residential, and commercial development since the 1880s. The site of Johnstown, the earliest permanent Euro-American settlement, the greater West Bank area was also home to historic-era Chippewa-Cree encampments. The area began developing an industrial character after 1887, when the railroad arrived in Great Falls and constructed a roundhouse and shops nearby. A Great Northern spur line ran northeast along the West Bank to the Boston and Montana, later Anaconda Company’s Black Eagle smelter, encouraging nearby industrial development. The most prominent West Bank industry of the early twentieth century was the Sunburst Oil Refinery, which operated from 1923 to 1933. Two buildings remain as a tribute to the West Bank’s role in this early oil boom. Non-industrial development also increased in the early 1900s. Attracted by inexpensive land prices and the proximity of downtown, more residents constructed permanent homes. Improved roads and the construction
Great Falls West Bank Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 19, 2019
2. Great Falls West Bank Historic District Marker
of the Northern Montana Fairgrounds in 1931 drew retail and entertainment establishments. During the Great Depression, New Deal programs sponsored the construction of two of the district’s most notable landmarks: the WPA warehouse, built in 1939 as an operations base for the Works Progress Administration; and the 1940 Cowboys Bar and Museum, home of the Montana Cowboys Association. Today, six well-preserved residential, commercial, and industrial buildings compose this small, historic district, which epitomizes the West Bank’s diverse history.
 
Erected by The Montana National Register Sign Program.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program marker series.
 
Location. 47° 30.665′ N, 111° 18.988′ W. Marker is in Great Falls, Montana, in Cascade County. Marker is on 3rd Street Northwest near 3rd Avenue North, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 311 3rd Street Northwest, Great Falls MT 59404, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cowboys Bar and Museum (a few steps from this marker); William & Isabel Shea House (within shouting distance of this marker); Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Depot (approx. half a mile away); Boyd House (approx.
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0.6 miles away); Northside Residential Historic District (approx. 0.6 miles away); T.E. Collins Mansion (approx. 0.6 miles away); Great Falls Civic Center (approx. 0.6 miles away); New Park Hotel (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Great Falls.
 
More about this marker. This marker is near the Cowboys Bar and Museum.
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 

More. Search the internet for Great Falls West Bank Historic District.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 19, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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