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Forsyth in Rosebud County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Hall

 
 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
1. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Hall Marker
Inscription.  On May 8, 1882, the first train rumbled through Forsyth, and the growing town soon became home to many Northern Pacific Railway workers. Among them were locomotive engineers, whose skills were in high demand, particularly in the West during the heady days of railroad expansion. The Forsyth engineers operated their steam- powered locomotives to the crew change point of Billings (and later Laurel). By September 1882, enough engineers had moved to Forsyth to form Division 195 of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE), the United States’ first railroad union. Founded in Detroit in 1863, the BLE generally avoided strikes in favor of negotiations; it became a pioneer in collective bargaining and a strong lobby for railroad safety. BLE Division 195 built this meeting hall in 1886 with labor and funds donated by its members. Constructed of logs, the hall was later sided and eventually stuccoed. The building contains a small vestibule, a closet, and a single meeting room that still boasts its original wood floor, baseboards, and chair rails. From 1886 to 1899, the engineers leased the land on which the hall stands from the Northern Pacific Railway;
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Hall and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
2. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Hall and Marker
in 1899 they purchased the lot when the railroad sold the land to a townsite company, creating Forsyth’s NP Addition. Many organizations used the BLE Hall for meetings, dances, and family gatherings, and one early Forsyth congregation worshipped here until it could build its own church. One of the best surviving examples of Forsyth’s early architecture, it is still occasionally used by the BLE.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Labor UnionsRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 46° 15.727′ N, 106° 40.778′ W. Marker is in Forsyth, Montana, in Rosebud County. Marker is at the intersection of South 7th Avenue and Front Street, on the left when traveling south on South 7th Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 278 South 7th Avenue, Forsyth MT 59327, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Claude O. Marcyes House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Forsyth, MT (approx. 0.2 miles away); Commercial Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Forsyth, MT (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Forsyth, MT
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(approx. ¼ mile away); 933 Main Street (approx. ¼ mile away); Kennedy-Fletcher Block (approx. ¼ mile away); Merchant Bank (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Forsyth.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 16, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 16, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 7, 2021