Whitcomb Garage

Red Lodge Commercial Historic District

J. A. Rose built a one-story blacksmith and wheelwright shop on this corner about 1905, establishing a long tradition of transportation-related businesses on the lot. Rose made and repaired wagon wheels, horse tack, and iron carriage parts. As automobiles supplanted horse-drawn transport, Nels Rogness established a Studebaker sales and service station here in 1917. In 1925, brothers A. B. and Archie Whitcomb purchased the building and continued operating it as a service station, tire, and blacksmith shop. Archie, with sons Byron and Arnold, bought out A. B. in 1928. In 1936, completion of the Beartooth Scenic Highway through Red Lodge secured the town’s future as a tourist stop. That year, the Whitcombs demolished the original building, purchased the vacant lot next door, and built a Streamline Moderne style service station and auto dealership. They started selling Pontiacs in 1937 and Willys Jeeps in 1947. The Whitcombs expanded into the building next door in 1948 and remained in business until 1976. Ray Judd Ford purchased the business, continuing the operation until 2018. It is the site of one of the longest continuously operating service stations in Montana.

Images

Map

124 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT ~ private