I've lived in Billings a long time and have driven past this building hundreds of times. But I don't know the history of it. It's on Grand Avenue around 60th.

Was it a school? Sure looks like it could have been one at some point. I could also be persuaded to believe that it was a church. But I wouldn't be able to explain the attached garage. Unless it was a school/church first, then the garage was added later by somebody who was living in it.

Community center? Maybe. It looks like it may have been built in the 1930s or 1940s. And back then it would have been "out in the country" because Billings had not grown out that far back then.

Then, after you tell me about Billngs' lone, unusual building, tell me why it hasn't been torn down.

There's another house like this just east of Cascade on the south side of the interstate. I don't have a picture of it but any of my Great Falls friends know which house I'm talking about.

If you've driven any back roads in Montana, you've seen hundreds of old buildings and homesteads. I remember asking my dad if he knew the story of each place, and he would have a very elaborate story of the dust bowl and depression and so forth.

It wasn't until I was about 10 years old that I figured out that my dad was full of it, but was a great storyteller. I carry on the family tradition by trying to see if my daughter can figure out if I'm embellishing a story or am I, in fact, the most knowledgeable historian in Montana when it comes to ancient buildings.

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