Wibaux building
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 18 years ago
Hey, in my surfing I stumbled across an old photo on the internet marked "Miles City, Mont" and then "Wibaux Bldg." It looks like it was quite a structure... larger than most of the old Main Street buildings. Does anyone know where this building stood or what happened to it?

Oh, and Travis reminded me that I should post an address.

http://www.familyoldphoto..._scene.htm



[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 8/17/2004).]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12375) 18 years ago
The Wibaux Building, which was the tallest and fanciest building between Bismarck and Bozeman when it was built in 1903, burned spectacularly in the mid-sixties. I think 1966 but it could have been 1964. I'm at home so I can't check off hand. The Miles City Club was in it for many years. The Yellowstone Journal referred to music coming from the "altitudinous heights" i.e. THIRD floor for a dance a hundred years ago last week. The building was also described as "resplendent" with electric lights. I have one interior photo that shows very fance scrollwork in the MC Club rooms. It stood on the corner of Seventh and Main, where the main section of the Stockman Bank now stands.

Lots of folks in town remember the fire. I believe a cigarette butt down a greasy garbage chute was supposed to have started it and it smoldered between false ceilings. Dropped ceilings are a BAD IDEA when it comes to fire. Or rather, they are great for fires! Just not so great for buildings. Layers of ceilings are the biggest problem. When you hang a new one, tear OUT the old one. Just a helpful hint.

It was a lovely building in its prime.

Amorette
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Posted by moon dog (+11) 18 years ago
DELETED - Please disregard all comments made by "moon dog" a/k/a "Rubberband Man" (whose posting privledges have been revoked due to repeated violations of the rules of conduct).

[Edited by MilesCity.com Webmaster]
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3857) 18 years ago
What a cool building. Rick, thanks for the link. Amorette, do you know the location?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 18 years ago
If you copy and paste the address above into the address bar of your web browser, it will take you to a picture of the building.
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Posted by John G Wilson (+31) 18 years ago
I remember sitting on the back pourch late one night on Tatro St. watching the glow in the sky. We had seen St. Nick at the Wibaux Building. He came in a helicopter that landed nearby and was ferried to the Wibaux on a firetruck. It was quite an event for the town of Miles!

[This message has been edited by John G Wilson (edited 8/19/2004).]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+99) 18 years ago
Thanks for sharing the photo. I remember the building burning down. I was about 5 years old. Seems like yesterday.

In the photo, just to the left of the Wibaux building there is a pointed roof that looks like a church located where city hall is today? Also, I noticed that the MDU smokestack is not in this picture. From the angle of the photo you should be able to see it. Anybody know when it was built?
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Posted by Bart Freese (+928) 18 years ago
I wonder who put the picture (postcard) up on this web site.

If you want to see a part of the old building, head out to the Range Riders Museum. The name section is outside.

What was the old building that had the door opening onto the corner? No, not Foster's Drug.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12375) 18 years ago
Hey, Bart. How goes the dining room floor?

I don't think the name thingie from the Wibaux building is still at the RR. I think it got broken. And the building with the arched corner entrance was the Schmalse Block, now the 600.

Yr Sr who knows all, tells all.
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Posted by Nick Krumenacker (+20) 18 years ago
The Wibaux Building originally housed the State National Bank, founded by Pierre Wibaux. It had bank assests of $ 1,330,313.24.
The bank president at the time was Mr C.W. Butler and John de Carle was the cashier.

This information comes from a booklet written by A. Buchanan in 1915.
The booklet is called "Seeing Miles City", The Johnnie Wise Letters.

It is a really neat publication, with several pictures of old Miles City.
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Posted by Wil Nelson (+71) 13 years ago
After the Wibaux builing burned down the Miles City Bank now the Stockman Bank was built in its place.
The Wibaux building was not being used for much of anything at the time of the fire.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12375) 13 years ago
There were at least three retail businesses, the Miles City Club and several apartment tenants in the building at the time of the fire. It wasn't as full as in the old days but it was not empty by any means!
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Posted by Bill Zook (+487) 13 years ago
If recollection serves me well, the main floor was shared by Army Surplus with Waddell's barber shop on the corner by the alley. Up stairs was the Miles City Club. Across the alley was the first Love Motor before conversion to a bowling alley. Then, Ed Love built across the street where the Stockmen Center is today, and the bowling alley moved to(built at) its present location.
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Posted by David Schott (+18212) 13 years ago
The bowling alley was located where Stockman Bank's drive-thru teller building is located today, right? Was that old bowling alley called "Recreation Lanes"?

- Dave
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Posted by Bill Zook (+487) 13 years ago
Yes, and Montgomery Ward was across the street where the Professional Bldg. is now, plus the former Moose.
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Posted by Ken Ziebarth (+322) 13 years ago
Ben Franklin and a Furniture store were also in the half block with the Moose and Wards.
Ken Z
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Posted by Kacey (+3161) 13 years ago
I thought the bowling alley was behind the 600 and across the street was the furniture store. That would put them over a block from 7th Street.
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Posted by Ken Ziebarth (+322) 13 years ago
Kacey, I now think you are right. Those were all on 6th, not 7th.
Ken Z
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Posted by H Lockie (+200) 13 years ago
The bowling alley was behind the Wibaux Building on the corner of 7th and Bridge (where the bank drive-up window is now). The Ben Franklin and Furniture store were on 6th St. (where Woods & Goods and the liquor store are now) I used to bowl at that alley when it was there.
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Posted by Betty O'Brien (+115) 13 years ago
I recall the Moose Lodge was on the top floor of the Wibaux Building in the early 1940's before moving into it's location next to Montgomery Wards.
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Posted by Jay Johnson (+55) 13 years ago
In the 50's, Stokes and Stratton Jewelers, John Aye, Insurance, and Tomalino's Record Shop were on 6th behind the 600. The Furniture store and the Kaiser Fraizer Auto Shop was across the street from them. The Bowling Alley was on So. 7th.
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