15 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Billings
I have lived in Billings most of my adult life, since I was 23, and I am amazed at all of the things I didn't know about the city, which I call home. Here are 15 things you may not have known.
1: Billings is called the "City Beneath the Rimrocks" The Rimrocks, also known as the "Rims" are a 300 to 800 foot sandstone formation. Billings is also referred to as the Magic City.
2: As of June 2015, the Unemployment rate is only 3.9%.
3: The Moss Mansion is named after Preston Boyd Moss. P.B. Moss moved to Billings in 1892. Moss became prominent in banking, organized the first dial telephone company in the area, founded a newspaper that was a forerunner of the Billings Gazette. He started a central heating plant and the Billings Utility Company. Moss helped to develop the Billings Light and Water Power Company and the Northern Hotel. Moss was a prominent Mason of Montana, a grand commander of the State Knights Templar and served as a trustee of the school district. Preston B. Moss died February 1, 1947, after suffering a heart attack. He was 83, he and his wife are buried in the family plot in Mountview Cemetery.
4: American Folk Singer Arlo Guthrie attended Rocky Mountain College for a brief time in 1965.
5: Actor Jeff Kober, who plays Joe in the AMC series, "The Walking Dead," was born in Billings.
6: Frontierswoman and professional scout Martha Canary, better known as Calamity Jane, lived in Billings. She owned a cabin on Canyon Creek, west of Billings in 1894. There are many reports that she had a wild side and spent time on more than one occasion in jail.
7: The first school classes were held in Billings in October of 1882. The first school was a makeshift rented space. A log school was built in 1883 and while a new brick school was being built, the log school burned down.
8: Charles "Lucky Lindy" Lindbergh's spent four months in Billings in 1922 when he got stranded here. During his stay, Lindbergh performed parachute exhibitions. One newspaper writer described Lindbergh as "The Daredevil Parachute Jumper." Lindbergh's jumps took place at the fairgrounds and a cow pasture where Homestead Business Park is now located on the West End.
9: Some 125 years ago, The original Zimmerman Trail was built during the summers of 1890 and 1891 by brothers Joseph and Frank Zimmerman. In the late 1800s, Joseph Zimmerman raised sheep on his ranch at the top of the Rims and in the spring the herders would drive the sheep on their long journey along the face of the Rims and then up Alkali Creek to their summer pastures. The problem wasn't necessarily moving the animals, but getting good drinking water and supplies. The trip was 16 miles one way and took two days. Right around 1890, Zimmerman hired his brother Frank and others to build a trail up the Rims. Once the trail was blasted and roughed out it, saved 12 miles one way and the trip could be completed in five hours. As cars replaced wagons over the decades in the Yellowstone Valley, city planners revised the road in 1938. The current Zimmerman Trail was finally paved in the 1940s
10: Billings hosts the tallest building in a five-state region, The First Interstate Center. It stands 272 feet and 20 floors above ground level. Billings is also home to the Crowne Plaza, the tallest load-bearing brick building in the world. That means that the load is supported by the wall, there is no column/beam to support the load. The Crowne Plaza, stands 256 feet and 22 floors above ground level and is not only the tallest hotel in Billings but in the state of Montana.
11: Named after Northern Pacific Railway the first Rail Road was founded in Billings in 1882.
12: Billings got the most snow on record just last year with 103.5 inches of snow beating the old record of 98.9 inches set back in 1996-97 by 4.6 inches.
13: Billings is the hometown to many famous athletes from all areas of sports. Just a few include former Major League Baseball pitchers Dave McNally and Jeff Ballard; former NFL players Ed Breding, Kurt Buris, Dwan Edwards and Mitch Donahue; Olympic gold medal swimmer Mike Burton; LPGA golfer Leslie Spalding; Boxer Ruben Castillo and Sportscaster Brent Musburger.
14: Yellowstone Kelly born Luther Sage Kelly was one of the most notable American veterans, scouts, and warriors of his time. At age 16, Kelly lied about his age, enlisted in the military, and the adventures of Yellowstone Kelly began. He was a scholar and author, a veteran of three wars, an exceptional hunter and trader, and a key player in scouting and taming the Wild West. In his twilight years,“Yellowstone" Kelly requested to have his body buried in the land where his restless spirit had experienced its greatest adventures. Kelly passed away on December 17, 1928, in California. His body was brought to Montana and held in a mausoleum until a fitting site was selected and the weather permitted a burial. On June 26, 1929, he was laid to rest with full military honors overlooking the Yellowstone Valley, what is now known as Swords Park. In 1959 The War Department honored Kelly's grave with a Bronze marker commemorating his service.
15: My favorite of all of the interesting things I didn't know, it's illegal in Billings to keep a rat as a pet.
What are some other things that we might not know about Billings?
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