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

Crystal Saloon

Billings Old Town Historic District

 
 
Crystal Saloon Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
1. Crystal Saloon Marker
Inscription.  Billings rancher and businessman James R. Conway built this handsome, brick double-front store with an upstairs boardinghouse in 1900. Conway opened the Crystal Saloon in the west half and J.C. Staffek ran a cigar ship in the east half. The two businesses were among many saloons, cigar stores, and cafes located near the tracks that served railroad, warehouse, and factory workers as well as homesteaders, farmers, and ranchers passing through. While the first-floor façade has seen many alterations, the paired arched windows, rusticated stone sills, and dentil (tooth) pattern masonry on the second floor still reflect the Romanesque Revival style. During the early 1900s, this neighborhood hosted a large Asian immigrant community. The Shong Hoi Noodle Parlor opened here in 1914, and in 1919 Japanese immigrants George Taketa and Nabikichi Morimoto opened a cafe. The building's longest operating business, the Oasis Bar, served a rowdy crowd from 1954 to the early 2000s. Although this area suffered a bad reputation from the 1920s until the end of the twentieth century, revitalization efforts in the early 2000s preserved many buildings and attracted new
Crystal Saloon and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
2. Crystal Saloon and Marker
The marker is at the left edge of the building, not on the right.
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businesses.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable Buildings.
 
Location. 45° 46.833′ N, 108° 30.217′ W. Marker is in Billings, Montana, in Yellowstone County. Marker is on Minnesota Avenue near North Broadway when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2718 Minnesota Avenue, Billings MT 59101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Yukon Bar (a few steps from this marker); Armour Cold Storage (within shouting distance of this marker); Billings Old Town Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); L and L Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Stockman Bar - circa 1945 (about 400 feet away); The Selvidge/Babcock Building - circa 1925 (about 400 feet away); The 2700 Block, Montana Avenue - circa 1909 (about 400 feet away); Oliver Building (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Billings.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 29, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 29, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 9, 2021