|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA|
Billings is the largest city in the US state of Montana, and is the principal city of the Billings Metropolitan Area with a population of about 165,400. The 2012 Census estimates put the Billings population at 106,954, the only city in Montana to surpass 100,000 people. Billings is located in the south-central portion of the state and is the county seat of Yellowstone County.
The area where Billings is today was once known as Clarks Fork Bottom which was to be the hub for hauling freight to Judith and Musselshell Basins. At the time these were some of the most productive areas of the Montana Territory. The plan was to run freight up Alkali Creek, now part of Billings Heights, to the basins and Fort Benton on the Hi-Line. In 1877 settlers from the Gallatin Valley area of the Montana Territory formed Coulson the first town of the Yellowstone Valley. Today Coulson Park, a Billings city park, sits on the river bank where Coulson once was. Named after Northern Pacific Railway president Frederick H. Billings Billings was founded in 1882. The Railroad formed the city as a western railhead for it farther westward expansion. By the 1910 census, Billings' population had risen to 10,031 ranking it the sixth fastest growing community in the nation. Billings became an energy center in the early years of the twentieth century with the discovery of oil fields in Montana and Wyoming. Then the discovery of large natural gas and coal reserves secured the cities place as an energy center. After World War II, Billings boomed into the major financial, medical and cultural center of the region.
[Text adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billings,_Montana]
The Grand Hotel, erected on the corner of First Avenue and North 27th Street, opened in 1886. The hotel expanded with a large annex addition in the 1910s. Following fire damage in 1920, the original portion of the hotel was relaced with a more modern building. Only the annex was spared. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places,
[Text adapted from http://yhpb.org/programs-projects/tales-spun-along-the-tracks-a-history-of-downtown-billings/; https://thegrand-hotel.com/]
The Northern Hotel at First Avenue was begun in May 1902 and the original 69-room hotel opened in February 1904. Additions in 1914 and 1916 enlarged the building, all of which burned to the ground September 11, 1940.
[Text adapted from http://yhpb.org/programs-projects/tales-spun-along-the-tracks-a-history-of-downtown-billings/]
The Yellowstone County Courthouse was built in 1905 by architect Charles E. Bell. A new building was completed next to it in 1954.