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

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

Rex Hotel

Billings Townsite Historic District

 
 
Rex Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
1. Rex Hotel Marker
Inscription.  A twist of fate landed 16-year-old German immigrant Alfred Heimer a job with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show in 1894. Although the irascible Colonel Cody fired young Heimer three times during that first day, the youth remained as steward of Cody’s private railway car until 1903, developing a close friendship with the famous frontiersman. The genial Heimer settled in Billings and built the Rex Bar circa 1909, which served such colorful patrons as Buffalo Bill and Will James. Early advertisements extolled Heimer’s German lunches and promised the “Best Beer in Town.” Circa 1917, addition of the third floor converted Heimer’s “nice furnished rooms” into a classy hotel that hosted many dignitaries including the great Crow chief, Plenty Coups, who stayed here in 1921 en route to Washington, D.C. Under new proprietors the Rex flourished during Prohibition; the bar simply went under cover. The hotel closed in 1974 and narrowly escaped demolition. Award-winning rehabilitation has restored the Rex to its former glory, where the hospitality first offered by Alfred Heimer is again Billings tradition.
 
Erected by
Rex Hotel and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
2. Rex Hotel and Marker
The marker is to the right of the covered entrance.
Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 45° 47.015′ N, 108° 30.02′ W. Marker is in Billings, Montana, in Yellowstone County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Montana Avenue (Business Interstate 90) and North 25th Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2401 Montana 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. Billings Townsite Historic District (a few steps from this marker); The Oxford Hotel - 1918 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Beanery - 1909 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Eagle Hotel - circa 1905 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Northern Pacific Depot - 1909 (within shouting distance of this marker); Northern Pacific Depot "Union Station" (within shouting distance of this marker); The Billings Brewery - Opened in 1899 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Flood of 1937 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Billings.
 
Rex Hotel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
3. Rex Hotel
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 2, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 2, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 7, 2021