“Billings,” from the Postcard History Series by Arcadia Press, includes art and insight by Billings resident Jim Reich. Mr. Reich, a postal worker, has chosen views from more than 1,300 postcards in his personal collection.
The cover scene shows the old Yellowstone County Courthouse in front of the current building. While the 1958 building provided needed space, it lacks the artistic appeal of the 1905 model.
Billings won the state championship in basketball in 1909. The proud victors, all six of them, pose in uniform along with their coach, E.P. Neill, who wears a three-piece suit, complete with pocket watch and chain.
A pose of Sally Rand, star of silent films, and burlesque queen known for her fan dance, shows her in a cowgirl outfit at the Midland Empire Fair in 1941.
Hardin, county seat for Big Horn County, is not the only site of a never-used jail. Billings was the first site of the Montana State Prison, also never opened.
The words “Country Club” emblazon the roof of the Montana State Penitentiary, built in 1892 at the head of 18th Street with $65,000 in state money. The Country Club postcard was an attempt to use the empty buildings.
Fire destroyed the complex in 1933.
Also available separately is a set of 15 postcards for $7.99.