Updated Depot: Historic Billings Depot thriving as events center
By Allyn Hulteng
Jennifer Mercer’s eyes light up as she guides a newly-engaged couple around the historic Billings Depot. As executive director of one of the city’s most iconic buildings, Mercer delights in showing off the beautifully restored edifice, weaving bits of local lore into her tour.
“It’s encapsulated history,” Mercer said. “There’s no other place like this.”
Elegant, with ornamental columns, articulated beams and plaster relief, the interior bespeaks of another era, evoking a sense of timeless grandeur.
The authentic vintage appeal is perhaps one reason the Depot has become a popular venue for weddings and other community events. Yet the fate of this legacy landmark could have been far different had a handful of visionaries not intervened.
To read the full feature on the Billings Depot, subscribe today!
KOA’s Montana origins: Roughing it in style
By JON AXLINE
Billings businessman Dave Drum watched as a tremendous amount of traffic began to pass by his property along the Yellowstone River on U.S. Highway 10 in the late 1950s.
The Seattle World’s Fair and the Space Needle would open in 1962.
Much of the traffic – and more to come Drum surmised – was headed that way.
Where some people may have just seen a lot of traffic, Drum saw an opportunity.
Fast forward to 2014, and Drum’s business idea spurred by the traffic increase is as important to the roadside landscape in the United States as any gas station, tire shop, old drive-in or motel.
The distinctive red and yellow logo of Drum’s Kampgrounds of America represents a safe place to stop for a night at a comfortable campground for a price lower than most motel and hotel.
A KOA campsite means you get a comfortable campsite where you don’t have to sleep on pinecones, rocks and tree roots. Campers also get a fire pit, picnic table and the opportunity to take a hot shower, use flush toilets rather than an outhouse, do some laundry, and buy supplies at the KOA’s distinctive A-frame buildings, which are the centerpieces of the campgrounds.
To read the entire KOA story, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more about Montana all year, subscribe now.
World renowned wildlife sculptor describes Montana using three words
If you could pick only three words to describe, Montana, what three words would you use?
Hard question to answer?
We put a Montanan on the spot with that question in each issue for our Big Sky Spotlight feature. We created the feature because we figured there are plenty of Montanans you ought to know. So why not put one in the magazine?
Clark Schreibeis, truly a hidden treasure in our state, is a world renonwed wildife carver and sculptor who has won dozens of best in world awards for his work. Clark was featured as the Big Sky Spotlight in the March/April issue. He answered several questions for the story’s writer Jim Gransbery, telling us about how and when he finds creativity to create such amazing art. Check out the full post of the story to learn more about Clark and what three words he uses to describe Montana.
Have you thought of your three words yet?
Check out our January/February Big Sky Spotlight if you need more inspiration.
New Big Sky Spotlight highlights somebody (from MT) you should know
We started debuted a “department” in the first issue of 2014 called Big Sky Spotlight.
We have several departments, or standard story formats, that appear in most issues and we thought, why not add on featuring a Montanan you should know?
The idea is to give readers a quick look at a Montanan making a difference, creating beautiful art or just living the Montana Life.
And, we thought, we not let them answer a few questions for us while we’re at it?
Our inaugural Big Sky Spotlight featured Becky Hillier, a Miles City native who worked tirelessly for the past several years with a dedicated group of people to help hundreds of Montana WWII veterans take the trip of a lifetime to Washington, D.C.
We think it’s a great way to get to know our neighbors and Big Sky Spotlight is one of the few full features we’ll post at MontanaMagazine.com.
And with that, we’re already working on our second issue of 2014, which of course will feature a BSS. Spoiler alert: In March/April we’ll feature Billings area artists Clark Schriebies.
Windy weather topples pine, crushes truck in Lincoln
The wind got the best of this huge pine the other day in Lincoln – that truck was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This photo was taken right on Main Street by our friends Jaime and Lisa Johnson.
Stay safe out there!