Valley Drive Motels of the Past
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Discussion on the "Kelly's Disco" thread has caused me to give thought to motels that used to be on Valley Drive East.

The ones that come to my mind are:

Flaming Arrow Motel
Sagebrush Motel
Wagon Wheel Motel
Gingham Lady Motel
Red Rock Village Motel *
Star Motel (all the way out at the U.S. 12/I-94 interchange) *

I have it in my head that in my youth there was an abandoned/very dilapidated motel somewhere between the underpass and the Miles City Plaza. I don't think it was any of the motels listed above.

That old building must've been razed sometime in the mid to later 1970s.

Does anyone recall what that motel was called and where it was located?

* These two motels are still standing and may be in operation in some form even today.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Another one: Sunset Motel

Sunset Motel Miles City MT by William Bird, on Flickr
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Wagon Wheel Motel:

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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Flaming Arrow Motel:

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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Red Rock Village:

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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
In this discussion here:

http://milescity.com/foru...098#258207

Bill Zook indicated that there used to be a motel and gas station at Leighton Blvd. and Valley Drive East (formerly "U.S. Highways 10 & 12 East") called the Niklas Motel. The Niklas Motel was across the street from the Texaco gas station that used to be at the northwest corner of the intersection.

Here is an obituary for Isabel McPhee Niklas that says she and her husband operated a motel and service station until retiring in 1974.

findagrave.com: Isabel McPhee Niklas

I'm thinking the Niklas Motel and Service Station used to be located roughly where ABC Glass and Signs is today at the northeast corner of Leighton and Valley Dr E.

EDITED TO ADD:

I found a postcard online that shows the Sagebrush Motel (which was located at the southeast corner of Leighton and Valley Drive -- razed in 2007) and there was a Standard Oil service station affiliated with it at the time. Later postcards of the Sagebrush show the service station to be no more. So it's possible that the Niklas Motel was actually the Sagebrush Motel. And it's possible that the Niklas Motel was never actually called the Niklas Motel... it was just owned by the Niklas family.

Perplexing, though, is that later 1960's to early 1970's Sagebrush Motel postcards list the name Paul & Freda P. Hobbs on the back of the postcards. This doesn't fit in with Isabel Niklas' obituary stating they operated the motel until retirement in 1974.





1963 Sagebrush Motel/Standard Ad, Miles City

[Edited by David Schott (7/27/2015 11:35:00 AM)]
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Posted by Tande (+119) 4 years ago
The Flaming Arrow was/is located just east of the underpass. It now is known as Neva's.
It was purchased and remodeled by Neva and Randy King. Now owned by Eastern Mt Mental Health Center. The Sagebrush was on the corner of Valley Drive E and Leighton. I think Wayne Soper ran it in the 70's. I think there used to be a small motel across from the old hospital. That possible could have been ran by Mrs Nicklas. In between was a small service station.

[Edited by Tande (7/27/2015 12:56:18 PM)]

[Edited by Tande (7/27/2015 1:13:19 PM)]
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Posted by Bridgier (+8352) 4 years ago
Was it Larry the Porn Guy who owned the Sagebrush in the late 80's?
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Another one -- the Flying "A" Motel -- is still standing just northeast of the site of the former Alta Club.



Also it appears the old Sunset Motel is still standing -- just northeast of the intersection of N Sewell St and Valley Drive East.

[Edited by David Schott (7/27/2015 3:28:00 PM)]
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 4 years ago
As I remember, the Nicklas family used to leave town for the holidays at Christmas because I knew the woman who took care of the motel while they were gone. That would have been 1968 - 1969 that I know of for sure and possibly additional years on either side. I left MC around that time as I was engaged to work for Uncle Sam and never spent much time there after that.

The Nicklas Motel was on the SE corner of Leighton and Valley Drive. I thought they ran the business as the "Nicklas Motel" because that what I remember it being called, but maybe it was still the "Sagebrush".
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
It's a mystery.

The Sagebrush has been called the Sagebrush since at least 1963 because that is what it was called in the 1963 "Tourist Edition" of the Miles City Star.

Here's a matchbook from the Sagebrush Motel and Sagebrush Standard Service Station. The matchbook lists the name Paul Hobbs.



The 1963 advertisement for the Sagebrush (posted above) clearly shows a Standard service station. But in the 1967 postcard I don't see that service station building anymore.

Bill Zook referenced the Niklas gas station as being a Chevron. And here is a matchbook from the Niklas Chevron. It looks pretty old.



And on this page, Smith Sales Co. mentions having an "Original Niklas Motel Sign from Miles City" for sale:

http://www.hellotrade.com...-sign.html

On a separate note, here's a better postcard of the Flaming Arrow Court:



And here's one... where the heck was the "Lamont Motel"? Considering the ash tray looks like the Flying "A" Motel ashtray I wonder if the Flying "A" was called the Lamont at some point.

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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
At this point I have two questions:

1. Was the Niklas Motel the same as the Sagebrush Motel? (Oddjob thinks so, my mother who has lived in Miles City her whole life thought so.)

2. I swear that there used to be an old motel on the east side (non railroad track side) of Valley Drive East (U.S. Highways 10 & 12) somewhere between the underpass and Reynold's Warehouse Grocery. The building was around in the early 1970s but in that timeframe it was looking abandoned and quite rundown. It was white in color. And it was torn down sometime in the mid to late 1970s. What's weird is I swear I brought this up many years ago on this site and Amorette Allison responded with an answer, but I haven't been able to find such a discussion. Maybe I'm losing my mind...
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Here on this milescity.com thread Chuck South Jr. makes reference to Whites Motel on Valley Drive.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Eureka, I think I'm on to the Niklas Motel vs. Sagebrush Motel matter. I dug out my 1963 Tourist Edition of the Star and lo-and-behold there is an advertisement for the Niklas Motel. I'm working on scanning the ad now.

It appears to me that the Niklas Motel was generally behind the Sagebrush Motel at the corner of N. Jordan Ave. and Leighton Blvd. So it was across Jordan Avenue from the Cornerstone Apartments. I remember that building from my youth and think it was just apartments during my time.

Now I don't believe the gas station was on that same block. I think the Niklas Chevron may have been just across Leighton Blvd from the motel. Not exactly where the ABC Glass building is today but on that lot closer to Leighton Blvd.

What do you want to bet that Janice Rioux's parents stayed at the Niklas Motel in 1939 when they took the photo from this thread here.

This is not the building that I remember being demolished in the 1970s. That building was on Valley Drive, I'm pretty sure. Which makes me wonder if it was the Whites Motel that Chuck South referred to.
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Posted by Tim Wagoner (+755) 4 years ago
Wow that thread brought back some memories. Now I would like to go back on time and walk to school stopping in the old Bean Bag. and spend the night with a Pizza delivered from Airport Inn in that Vega Wagon they had.
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Posted by Tande (+119) 4 years ago
The service station was behind the Sagebrush and faced Leighton. The Niklas was on the other side like you stated on N Jordan across from the old hospital now Cornerstone. Only one house remains there on the corner of N Jordan and Clark and last I knew it was Lynelles poddle room.

[Edited by Tande (7/28/2015 12:34:54 PM)]
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 4 years ago
I was looking at an old Google Earth photo and I saw the motel-like building behind the Sagebrush on Jordan and I was wondering if that was the Niklas. I knew it was there somewhere. As far as the building on the NE corner of Leighton and Valley Dr, I remember there was an old run down white building that was boarded up for as long as I remember. No idea what it had been.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Ah ha! So, Oddjob, you do remember that old boarded up building on Valley Drive and it was located about at the northeast corner of Leighton and Valley Drive? Yay, I'm not losing my mind.

I figured that if the building ever existed it would have had to be in that vicinity. It's the only significant vacant lot on that side of the road that I can't account for what used to be there.

So the questions are:

1. What was that boarded up building (I'm pretty sure it was an old motel)?

2. Where was "Whites Motel" that Chuck South Jr. referred to?

3. Where was the Lamont Motel?

4. Finally -- in the "Kelly's Disco" thread Richard Bonine Jr. wondered if Klamm's Bar used to be located closer to that corner (ne corner of Leighton and Valley Dr). I don't recall that. Does anyone know?

My mom seemed to think that the Klamms lived in a house on Leighton Blvd generally behind (east of) where ABC Glass is today. If you look at a satellite picture of that area you can see a dirt road that connects a house on Leighton to the back of the old Klamm's/Barney's Bar building (Evergreen Landscaping today). So it could make sense that the Klamms lived close by to their business.
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Posted by ike eichler (+1232) 4 years ago
I suspect if someone has the Polk city directories from the late 30s thru the early 50s, the questions may be answered. The library used to have these but think they were sent to the Historical society in Helena.

Listed in the 1959 Mountain States telephone directory for motels in Miles City are,
Cottage Motel 411 Pacific
Flaming Arrow Motel 24 N Cottage Grove
Flying A Motel east of MC
Gingham Lady Motel east of MC
Hamill Tourist Court 321 Main
Niklas Motel Leighton and Hiway 12
Park Motor Court SW of City Park
Red Rock Village E of MC
Sagebrush Motel 308 N Custer
Sunset Motel E of MC
Wagon Wheel Motel E of MC
Whites Motel Yellowstone Valley
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
This photo is from August 2014. Contrast this sign today to how the sign looked in the postcard of the Wagon Wheel Motel above. Mother Nature is taking over again.

Wagon Wheel Park Sign, Miles City by David Schott, on Flickr

[Edited by David Schott (7/28/2015 8:33:00 PM)]
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Posted by Mary Pat (Brady) Young (+96) 4 years ago
In regards to David Schott’s question about Klaam’s, It was a bar and it did sit on the NE corner of Leighton Blvd. and Valley Drive. I don’t know what is there at the present time…just know what used to be there. I remember it well because in 1958 I was in a head on collision right in front of it. Was driving from town going to the Red Rock for a hamburger and the drive-in theatre had just gotten out. There was a line of traffic coming from the theatre. There was a driveway in front of Klamm’s that connected Valley Drive to Leighton. Someone was turning to either go to the bar or cut thru to Leighton and he turned right in front of me. Ended up in the hospital with bruises and stitches and totaling my Dad’s 1949 Chevy!

I do remember a Niklas Motel and it may have been on the SE corner of Valley Drive and Leighton. I also remember the Niklas children as there were twin gir0ls who graduated SHHS about 1956 I think, and then their brother, Don, was coach at SHHS around the same time.
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Posted by Ken Ziebarth (+315) 4 years ago
Fire at the Sunset Motel
Sometime in the '50s. It was on Highway 10 (now Valley Drive) a little ways beyond Dairy Queen, not as far as the Red Rock. Damage was only to the Office and front area.


[Edited by Ken Ziebarth (8/5/2015 1:45:53 PM)]

Finally got picture to show up!!

[Edited by Ken Ziebarth (8/5/2015 1:55:53 PM)]
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1279) 4 years ago
There was a gas station behind the Sagebrush on Leighton, then the alley, then the little motel. Of course, those (other than Sagebrush) operated before my memory. But I do remember the gas station building. Drove by there the other day and everything was gone from the block. History washing away. VDE is not a pretty part of town.....
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Thanks, Cory. That is consistent with what "Tande" said -- that the Niklas Chevron gas station was on the south side of Leighton between the Sagebrush Motel and the Niklas Motel.

Remaining questions:

1. Where was Whites Motel?

2. Where was the Lamont Motel?

3. What was the building that had been at the northeast corner of Valley Dr E and Leighton Blvd? That building was very rundown looking and was razed sometime in the 1970s.
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Posted by Tande (+119) 4 years ago
David could the Whites motel be the small one that was past the Crossroads on Valley Drive East? Elwyn and Marie Bastian lived their in the 80"s or so.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
I didn't realize there was a motel on Valley Drive E out past the Crossroads. I don't recall that one.
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Posted by Tande (+119) 4 years ago
Nothing left except for a part of the front building. I think there may have been a fire that destroyed part of it. Do remember it though as a kid.
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Posted by Kacey (+3154) 4 years ago
White's motel was past the Crossroads on the same side of the highway.
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Posted by Tande (+119) 4 years ago
In Ikes post earlier it says Whites Motel Yellowstone Valley, so am thinking that must of been the one past the Crossroads.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Seems very likely that White's Motel was on Valley Drive East (U.S. Highway 10) east of the junction with U.S. Highway 12.

Now the questions are:

1. Where was the Lamont Motel?

2. What was the building that had been at the northeast corner of Valley Dr E and Leighton Blvd? That building was very rundown looking and was razed sometime in the 1970s.

And one new question:

3. Where was the Little Chief gas station? Is that the gas station that used to be between the old Dairy Queen and the old A&W (now Regan's Plumbing) in the Miles City Plaza? That gas station was a Husky and then a Cenex in the time that I remember.
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Posted by Phil Shifley (+118) 4 years ago
Wasn't Klamms later named Barney's Bar (his daughter took it over, her name is Barney)? That is now the Evergreen landscaping building South of Reynolds.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Yes, Phil, as far as I know that is all correct. It had been suggested in a different thread that Klamm's Bar had once been located closer to the corner of Valley Drive E and Leighton Blvd.

This building is where I always remember it being.

Evergreen Landscaping, Miles City by David Schott, on Flickr
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 4 years ago
David Schott asked:

"3. Where was the Little Chief gas station? Is that the gas station that used to be between the old Dairy Queen and the old A&W (now Regan's Plumbing) in the Miles City Plaza? That gas station was a Husky and then a Cenex in the time that I remember."

You are correct. As I remember, the original business in that location was the Little Chief gas station.
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Posted by Mary Pat (Brady) Young (+96) 4 years ago
David Schott: guess you didn't read my earlier post or else I have no credibility even tho I lived in Miles City from 1940 until 1964 and I don't frequent this site much. NE corner of Valley Drive and Leighton was KLAMM'S.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14231) 4 years ago
Thank you, Mary. Glad to know it wasn't a fig newton of my emenese imagination.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Mary Pat, the Klamm's Bar (later Barney's Bar) that I knew was located very close to the intersection of Valley Drive East (Highway 10-12) and Leighton Boulevard. The building it was in is Evergreen Landscaping today (I posted a picture of it above).

Here is a map with the former Klamm's Bar marked by a red X.

Richard believes (and I guess you do as well) that Klamm's Bar used to be closer to the intersection... I think where the blue circle is.

I just want to confirm that you agree with Richard that Klamm's was originally located on this corner and subsequently relocated about 1 block further northeast-ish on Valley Drive. Is that correct?

Leighton Blvd @ Valley Drive East
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14321) 4 years ago
I thought the blue circled building was Sears.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Yes, Gunnar that building was originally built in about 1976ish to be a Goodyear Tire Center. It later became a Sears store. Today it is ABC Glass and Signs.

The questions are...

1. What was there before the Goodyear store?

2. Was Klamm's Bar ever located there before relocating to the building marked by the red X?
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Posted by ike eichler (+1232) 4 years ago
Back to Klamms bar or later Barneys bar. The 1959 telephone directory has no listings for either. John Klamm is listed as living at 2003 Leighton, John Klamm Jr at 2103 Leighton. There is also a listing for Klamms Service station East of MC.

The 1976 Polk city directory also has no listing for either of the 2 bars. It duz have John Klamm Jr listed as manager of Klamms Trailer Court Hiway 10 and 12.

So when was Klamms bar opened?
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Reply to ike eichler (#361097)
Good question, Ike. The building that Evergreen Landscaping is in was built in 1955 and was described as a "warehouse" type building.

The ABC Glass and Signs building (Goodyear, Sears, Lube Center) was built in 1975.
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Posted by luvlife (+292) 4 years ago
What was the name of the Motel behind or next to the Alta Club? Is it still standing? I know the Alta Club is no longer----but, is the Alta Trailer Court still alive and kicking? Did Spike Grenz own the Trailer Court? Was hoping someone had old pictures of the Trailer Court, Alta Club and the Motel right next to the Club? Thank you!
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Posted by Mary Pat (Brady) Young (+96) 4 years ago
Klamm’s was located where the building circled in blue is. I guess Richard remembers that also. I have no idea when it evolved into something other than Klamm’s or if the old building was burned or demolished. My Uncle Jim played the piano in the bar, so I was in there a few times during my growing up years. You could access their parking lot from either Valley Drive or Leighton Blvd. Folks used to cut through there also instead of going to the corner to make a left turn. The building circled in blue is right on top of where the driveway would have cut through.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Thanks for the clarification, Mary Pat. That makes two people who say Klamm's was located at the northeast corner of Leighton Blvd and Valley Drive East (Highway 10-12) before moving to the building that is Evergreen Landscaping today.

@"luvlife" -- The Flying A Motel was located just northeast of the Alta Club. It is still standing today and I think it serves as a mini storage type of facility.

The Alta Trailer Court, according to the Montana Cadastral website, is owned by "Rockin Sr, LLC" in Bozeman. "Rockin Sr, LLC" seems to be affiliated with a person by the name of Barbara B Jones or Barbara Ellis.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
FYI, I asked a friend who knows a member of the Klamm family and that person confirmed that Klamm's Bar used to be on the corner where ABC Glass is today. It included a bar, cafe, and gas station with fuel pumps.

It was also said that the building that houses Evergreen Landscaping today housed a Packard car dealership in the time before it housed Klamm's Bar/Barney's Bar.

Good memory, Richard and Mary Pat.
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Posted by schmitzdj (+196) 4 years ago
The Goodyear store was built prior to 1970 and was first managed by Gary Hotaling, who was the appliance manager at Tempo prior to that.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
Reply to schmitzdj (#361137)
schmitzdj wrote:
The Goodyear store was built prior to 1970 and was first managed by Gary Hotaling, who was the appliance manager at Tempo prior to that.


The Montana Cadastral site says that Goodyear (ABC Glass) building was built in 1975 which is consistent with my memories. Did the Goodyear store exist someplace else prior to that location perhaps?
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Posted by Mary Pat (Brady) Young (+96) 4 years ago
Thanks David Schott. I was beginning to question my memories because so many people, including my brothers, had different memories than Richard and me. Glad that I can still remember some tings!
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Posted by Kacey (+3154) 4 years ago
I worked at Little Chief gas station between the Dairy Queen and the A&W in the early 70s. It was a bustling area of town back then. People lined up for ice cream and Mama and Papa burgers and at the car wash. Wow..so different now.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14321) 4 years ago
Only one constant remains on Valley Drive......the hardest working man in Custer County.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 4 years ago
I think my grandfather worked a few hours per week at the Little Chief in his retired years. That would have been late 60's to early 70's. I seem to recall Mom stopping to get some gas and Grandpa would send a buck our way to get an ice cream cone next door.
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