1009 North 31st Street

North Elevation Historic District

Built in 1915, this Craftsman style residence was the longtime home of Ray and Olga Wise. Craftsman homes featured varied, natural materials and subtle detailing, seen here in the narrow clapboard and shingle siding, triangular brackets, exposed rafter tails, and checkerboard step risers. An open front porch included in the home’s main footprint reinforces the style’s goal of bridging the natural and domestic worlds. A talented bridge player, Olga raised three children here. Ray spent his career at the Billings Brewery, becoming secretary/treasurer in 1908. The manufacturer of “The Beer that Makes Milwaukee Jealous,” the brewery poured a reported $12,000 worth of product into the gutter in 1919, at the start of Prohibition. It survived the 1920s as “Advance Manufacturing,” bottling “Top Notch, A Modern Beverage,” which it promoted as “mildly stimulating without the aid of alcoholic properties.” After Prohibition ended in 1933, the brewery took back its old name, and once again began manufacturing Old Fashion Beer, “a food to tired, weak, overwrought nerves.” Ray worked at Billings Brewery until his death in 1945 at fifty-eight. Olga remained in residence until 1950.

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1009 North 31st Street, Billings, Montana ~ private