Crow Indians Settlers Oil Discovery Microbreweries and a Heritage Trail
Billings is the largest city in Montana and is located in the south-central portion of the state. With the Bakken oil development in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, the largest oil discovery in U.S. history, as well as the Heath shale oil discovery, the city’s growth rate stayed high during the shale oil boom. Nicknamed the Magic City because of its rapid growth from its founding as a railroad town in March 1882, it is named for Frederick H. Billings. Billings is the trade and distribution center for much of Montana east of the Continental Divide, Northern Wyoming, and western portions of North and South Dakota. Billings is also the retail destination for much of the same area. With more hotel accommodations than any area within a five-state region, the city hosts a variety of conventions, concerts, sporting events, and other rallies.
The Crow Indians have called the Billings area home since about 1700
Settlers from the Gallatin Valley area of the Montana Territory formed Coulson the first town of the Yellowstone Valley. The town was started when John Alderson built a sawmill and convinced PW McAdow to open a general store and trading post on land that Alderson owned on the bank of the Yellowstone River. Before the railroad, most goods coming to and going from the Montana Territory were carried on paddle riverboats. When the railroad came to the area, they established the new town of Billings; for a short-time the two towns were linked with a trolley service.
Coulson was a rough town of dance halls and saloons and not a single church
The downtown area and much of the rest of Billings is in the Yellowstone Valley which is a canyon carved out by the Yellowstone River. A blend of small businesses and office space, together with restaurants and a walkable brewery district, it is home to eight microbreweries, Downtown Billings also has a distillery that makes a variety of handcrafted spirits. Babcock Theater is a 750-seat performing arts theater built in 1907 and at the time was considered the largest theater between Minneapolis and Seattle.
Neighborhoods are at the heart of Billings. The south side is probably the oldest residential area in the city, and it is the most culturally diverse neighborhood. South Park is an old growth City park, host to several food fairs and festivals in the summer months. The Bottom Westend Historic District is home to many of Billings first mansions. Midtown is undergoing gentrification and new growth is mainly concentrated on the West End.
MET Transit provides fixed-route and paratransit bus service. All MET buses are accessible by citizens who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices. They are wheelchair lift-equipped and accessible to all citizens who are unable to use the stairs. MET buses are equipped with bike racks for their bike-riding passengers.
The Heritage Trail System has well-maintained trails and pathways
Around Billings, there are seven mountain ranges, including the Bighorn and Pryor Mountains, home the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.
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