Charming Little Billings Church Abandoned for Years. What’s Up?
Every time I drive by, I wonder.
Longtime locals remember when 24th St West was pretty much the western edge of Billings. Sure, a few subdivisions began popping up along 32nd St West forty years ago, but until the last couple of decades, things were basically "country" a mile west from 24th Street.
Now, Shiloh Road is a major north-south thoroughfare on Billings West End as more and more former farmland becomes residential housing. Looking somewhat out of place, the old, white building is one of the smallest churches I've ever seen.
Surrounded by development, the little church remains.
With huge, popular houses of worship in the surrounding area, the tiny white chappel certainly evokes an earlier time, when Billings' population was much smaller. I'm sure it was considered "out-of-town" when it was built, likely miles from the nearest house in early downtown Billings.
Maybe it was a school?
It certainly looks like a church, but it could have been a really small, one-room schoolhouse. There is a steeple, but no religious symbology is visible on the aging little building. Any stained glass is long gone, with a few pieces of plywood on some of the windows. Others are gaping dark holes. Any church pews (or school desks) in the small structure have been removed long ago.
Please, not another coffee shop.
I recall reading a story a few years ago that the little church at the old Cetrone Photography Studio property was going to become a drive-through coffee shop. For the life of me, I can't find that source. When I drove by the location last week, I noticed a new business on a portion of the property. If you have any insight on the history of the building, or what it's going to become, I'd love to hear it. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org