Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
The Building on Ramer's Corner
The story to-day has to do with the old building with a store front which sits to the left as you enter the lane south from town which is bounded on the east by the row of trees set out by Clara Kelly Ramer in the eighties and which is the subject of a recent Masterson painting titled "The Last Mile", now on display in the lobby of the Graves Funeral Home. According to Sam Gordon in his Recollections of Old Milestown, this building was erected in the early eighties on the corner now occupied by the Carnegie Library. It was built to house a "life saving station" for members of the bar and court, including witnesses and spectators, who had business in the newly constructed courthouse. That courthouse was quite a distance from the business district of the town and, according to Mr. Gordon, the routine of the court business has a tendency to induce a thirst, and when court adjourned for noon or evening and the longish trip up town was undertaken, there was almost universal craving among the attendants of court for a bracer, not then obtainable until Sam Pepper's saloon (where Russell's Bar now stands) was reached at the corner of Seventh and Main--that being the first oasis on the long and dusty trail. Of course, in a resourceful community such as Milestown was then, such a lack of public service could not long be permitted to endure, and so the Courthouse Saloon came into being--a one story frame--the identical building first mentioned as standing along the row of trees in the Ramer lane--and a "first relief" station for judges, lawyers and litigants established therein. After some years of more or less adequate service, the demand fell off, whether because regular supply stations had advanced toward the courthouse as far as Ninth street, it cannot be said but the fact remains that the Courthouse Saloon was abandoned and the building became a common paint shop, along with other occupancies--among them a feed store, in which flour, grain and hay were sold, and from which some of these articles were purloined--but that is another story. About the time the building was in its worse state of repair, Andrew Carnegie came along with an offer of giving a munificent sum of $10,000 to any community which would establish a public library in its community and name the structure and institution after him. As Mr. Gordon says, our community called his bluff and purchased the lots upon which the subject of our story was situated. The first Board of Trustees of the library were: T. J. Porter, C. H. Loud and J. W. Strevell, all attorneys, C. W. Butler of the State National Bank, and W. A. Jordan of the mercantile establishment, W. B. Jordan & Sons.

The subject of our story was then moved to the west and placed on the lots where the former telephone building stands. While on this location, it was occupied for different purposes, one of which was, we remember distinctly, a clothing store operated by a man by the name of Engelke, who later moved his store to the room just east of Della's Ready-to-Wear Shop. The telephone company purchased this property in 1914, and it was then necessary for our building to make its next move, which was to the northwest corner of Main and Tenth streets immediately opposite its first location. While roosting in the telephone building location, A. D. McAusland had to find a new location for his Creedmoor Armory which was then being operated on the ground floor of the Leighton block a door or two this side (east) of the present liquor store. So Mr. McAusland moved eastward and occupied the building concerning which we are writing, end occupied it at the time it was moved across the street. Our city ordinances had been changed by this time so that the fire limits extended down as far as Tenth Street, and so when the building was moved, it was necessary under the ordinance that it be covered with some materiel that could comply with the ordinance. This is how it happened to have for many years the pseuda appearance of a masonry building, as the owners covered the exterior walls with a course of concrete blocks and topped it off with a metal roof. During the occupancy of this building by Mr. McAusland, W. H. Crouse moved his repair shop in with the Creedmoor Armory and after Mr. McAusland's decease, took over the entire business and operated it as Crouse's Gun Shop until its removal to its present location. The building is now shorn of its masonry appearance and looks just what it is--a little old store building, completely worn out and willing to remain unoccupied.