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

Billings in Yellowstone County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Armour Cold Storage

Billings Old Town Historic District

 
 
Armour Cold Storage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
1. Armour Cold Storage Marker
Inscription.  Billings, located halfway between Minneapolis and Spokane, boasted railroads running in seven directions by 1916. Quantities of freight arrived each day from points east, and large warehouses lined the tracks, filled with goods awaiting resale. Billings supplied shopkeepers across eastern Montana and northern Wyoming, and in 1916 its annual wholesale grocery and produce business alone was estimated at $3 million. Among the businesses to use Billings as a distribution center was Armour and Company. The largest meatpacker in America by 1891, Chicago-based Armour revolutionized the business, establishing a “disassembly” line to expedite butchering. The ruthless employer and competitor also pioneered new uses for slaughter by-products and financed early experiments with refrigerated railcars so it could ship its products farther afield. By 1903, Armour had a cold storage warehouse next door; another small cold storage building owned by prominent Billings businessmen Christian and Peter Yegen occupied this prize corner lot. Sometime before 1918, Armour purchased this corner and built a state-of-the-art, two-story, cold-storage warehouse
Armour Cold Storage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
2. Armour Cold Storage Marker
The marker is to the left of the entrance.
with a concrete refrigeration shaft and cold rooms on each level. Engineered to hold a large amount of weight, the building relied on massive posts and beams to support the open interior spaces that characterize warehouses. Capped by a flat roof, the brick building displays many elements typical to Western Commercial style warehouses including a raised foundation, minimal ornamentation, and regularly spaced windows. Converted to lofts and offices in 2001, the former warehouse still reflects its origins in the railroad and wholesaling economy of early twentieth-century Billings.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable Buildings.
 
Location. 45° 46.838′ N, 108° 30.237′ W. Marker is in Billings, Montana, in Yellowstone County. Marker is on Minnesota Avenue near South Broadway, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2701, 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. Billings Old Town Historic District (a few steps from this marker); Yukon Bar (a few steps from this marker); Crystal Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker); The Selvidge/Babcock Building - circa 1925 (about 300 feet
Armour Cold Storage image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
3. Armour Cold Storage
away, measured in a direct line); The Stockman Bar - circa 1945 (about 300 feet away); The 2700 Block, Montana Avenue - circa 1909 (about 300 feet away); L and L Building (about 400 feet away); The Chapple Drug Store - 1893 (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 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 29, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 7, 2021