Losekamp Block

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 View File Details Page

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 View File Details Page

Losekamp Block, south facade

Losekamp Block, south facade

Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana | Creator: Unidentified photographer View File Details Page

Access Information:

private

Street Address:

2817 Montana Ave, Billings, Montana [map]

Cite this Page:

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Losekamp Block,” Explore Big – Montana's Historic Places, accessed July 23, 2017, http://explorebig.org/items/show/2144.

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