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Rare highly detailed lithographic view of Butte, Montana, published in Milwaukee by Henry Wellge.

An exceptionally rare view of Billings, showing the town in its infancy. The map identifies streets, railway lines, manufacturing facilities and the railroad.

Billings, Montana

Billings was founded in 1882 and named after Northern Pacific Railway president Frederick H. Billings. The Railroad formed the city as a western railhead for it farther westward expansion. At first the new town had only three buildings but within just a few months it had grown to over 2000. This spurred the Billings nickname of the Magic City because like magic it seemed to appear overnight.


This is apparently the second state of the map, with the added border and reference to Austin North Bank. OCLC lists only a single copy of each of the two states of the map.

The nearby town of Coulson appeared a far more likely site, for a host or reasons. However, when the Montana & Minnesota Land Company oversaw the development of potential railroad land, they ignored Coulson, and platted the new town of Billings just a couple of miles to the Northwest. Coulson quickly faded away; most of her residents were absorbed into Billings. Yet for a short time the two towns co-existed: a trolley even ran between the two.