Filed Under Billings

Losekamp Block

Billings Old Town Historic District

John Losekamp brought boots and shoes to Billings by mule train in 1882, when a cluster of tents and a few log cabins defined the business district. The pioneer merchant purchased this lot around 1890, constructing a two-story brick business block by 1894. The building’s second story still looks much as it did originally. Its spirited design features a bracketed metal cornice, a decorative brick frieze with circular medallions and cream brick diamonds, raised brick accents, and embellished window heads. As Billings grew, so did Losekamp’s business, and in 1907, he advertised himself as a “men’s outfitter.” Known for his willingness to offer area cowboys credit, he sold “ranch supplies, clothing, trunks, shoes, valises.” An avid sportsman, Losekamp planted the first trout in Beartooth Lake, imported Chinese pheasants for bird hunting and, as state representative, supported enactment and enforcement of game laws. Almost entirely self-educated, he also helped pass the law establishing free county high schools. He generously supported higher education as well; when he died in 1913, he left a third of his estate to Billings Polytechnic (later Rocky Mountain College.) 

Images

Losekamp Block, northwest facade
Losekamp Block, northwest facade Property Address: 2817-2819 Montana Ave Historic Name: Losekamp Block Current Property Name: Western Pawn Brokers/ Far West Gallery/Fuller Hotel OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: 08/12/2009
Losekamp block, exterior
Losekamp block, exterior Photo# roll: 1-34 Historic Name: Fuller Hotel Common Name: Big Bear Store, Loudy Pawn Shop Address: 2819 Montana Ave.-2817 Montana Ave. Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: [no date]
Losekamp Block, south facade
Losekamp Block, south facade Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: 05/29/2010

Location

2817 Montana Avenue, Billings, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Losekamp Block,” Historic Montana, accessed July 13, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2144.