In sitting around the Townsquare Tower today, thinking about what I could share with the world, I remembered photos I came across in my ancient "Flickr" account from 2009. What was so special in 2009? Well, for one, I was a Junior at Custer County District High School... Two, on this March morning, I was sick and didn't wish to go to school...

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All Hands On Deck

And Three... I remember looking at my cell phone, and getting texts from friends freaking out that "Main Street is completely on fire!!!!". So, what does any kid (totally not playing hooky) do when his hometown main street catches fire? Well, grab your camera... throw on pajamas... and race downtown to see what's happening!

Credit: Josh Rath
Credit: Josh Rath

Beautiful, Burned, Miles City

By the time I got to Downtown from our house, this is what I saw. National Guard and Firefighters helping to keep the flames out.

Credit: Josh Rath
Credit: Josh Rath

The businesses lost that day were immense for the community. Burlap & Lace is where the fire started, during remodeling work, which then spread to Good Things gift shop, Imagine That salon, Copper Thimble fabric store, Family Floral, Farmer's Insurance Shaun Lockie, and the historic Creme Shop.

Oh, I didn't forget one. The Cellar Casino was the biggest loss, in my 17 year old eyes. Why? Memories. If you never visited the Cellar, well, you missed out on the beauty of the 90's.

A big buffet of food, gamblers all around trying to win big, and that "family friendly" atmosphere of that decade.

Credit: Josh Rath
Credit: Josh Rath

The Cellar also holds one very funny memory for me... and now that we're well past MCPD ever getting angry at me about it... I can tell you.

Long story short, as a kid, my mother... her boyfriend at the time... his son... and I went to dinner at the Cellar. When we finished up, us two kiddos ran out to the truck (parked directly in front of Blimpie Subs) to wait.

But, being it was winter in Montana, we were of course cold. His son, Blake, decided to turn the truck on for heat... which makes sense. But... the Chevy was a manual, left in 1st gear when shut off... and...


Within what seemed like a second, the truck lurched alive and FORWARD, straight into the front window of Blimpie's in downtown Miles City. Whoops.

Like A Rock!

On that note, I'd like to apologize to the poor Blimpie's worker (some high school aged kid if I remember) for giving you, what was most likely your first ever, heart attack.

Ahhh, memories.

What Does Main Look Like Today?

Well, after the city came together to demolish nearly the entire block (leaving John Stockhill Jewelers and Big Sky Pharmacy standing), the rebuild of the Cellar started in 2010... and since has been standing proudly where the former building stood... with bricks from the former building now used in the replacement building.

Next door, Main Street Grind built up a Coffee/Sandwich shop (I loved them when they were new), and more businesses have filled the space up over time.

Take a drive through Main Street Miles City on Google Maps below to see just how much has changed in nearly 15 years.

Have a great weekend!

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