Columbus



Hager sold out to Mr. Frank of Helena, who organized the Montana Sandstone Company. Many buildings were erected to house the saws, planers and rooms for the masons to work. Soon the plant was ready for full capacity and at its peak employed up to 72 men as a demand for the building material surged. The State Capitol, federal buildings in Butte, Helena and Billings, hotels in Forsyth and Havre, the Missoula and Havre high schools, the Masonic Temple in Missoula and many other public buildings and private institutions, awaited the delivery of stone for construction.

In 1910, a turning point came for the quarry as a Bedford Indiana Limestone Company got the bid for an annex for the state Capitol. Tests were done in Bozeman that proved the Indiana stone inferior to the Columbus stone and a fight started which delayed the project. A granite quarry opened in the Butte area with a product that had a higher resistance to weather than the sandstone or limestone. During the legislative session, they voted to use "Montana Products" but gave the job to the granite company. Much of the machinery at the Columbus quarry was leased to the new company and was never returned. For nearly 30 years after the shutdown, Pete and Henry Petosa produced headstones from the sandstone stockpile. Many monuments are in the Columbus cemetery made by the Petosa Monuments Company.

THE LOG HOTEL


In 1882 Horace Countryman completed a log hotel with the help of John "Liver Eating" Johnston and Jack Craft who hewed the logs.Col. J. I. Allen, a famous Indian guide and scout wrote that the hotel was recognized as one of the best eating places between Bismarck and Bozeman. The Hotel also was a main social center where men and women would come from Coulson to Bozeman to dance to the fiddling of Seth Porter or Al Foote and enjoy the famous oyster suppers of the popular inn. They would dance all night but if extreme weather prevailed, some of the residents of the hotel would surrender their beds to the visiting gals.