Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive

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The Interesting History Behind Bozeman Street Names

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Established in peak times of the Gold Rush, Bozeman, Montana has an interesting background with some extraordinary founders. Much of Bozeman’s roads were named in honor of individuals who were monumental to the town’s success.

Here are few meaningful road names in Bozeman with an interesting history.

 

Bozeman Avenue

The city founder, John Bozeman, left his family behind to travel west in his quest for gold. He failed to find gold, so he took on a different venture—trail blazing. He guided wagon trains on the Bozeman Trail to Virginia City. Mr. Bozeman was a risk-taking gambling man. He embraced the dangers of breaking treaties with local Indian tribes by traveling through their territory.

Admiring the landscape of the Gallatin Valley, he eventually settled and began his most instrumental work in 1864—building the city of Bozeman. With help of his two partners, William J. Beall and Daniel Elliott Rouse, he built the first log homes, church, and school.

Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to see his city prosper. In 1867, at age 32, he was found murdered along the Yellowstone River. While the Blackfeet Indians were originally blamed for his murder, rumors have spread that his partner, Thomas Cover, had motive to murder him as a jealous husband. Historians even suspected that a henchman was hired to kill Mr. Bozeman on behalf of Nelson Story, the richest man in Bozeman. There is still no physical evidence to prove who the true killer was.

 

Beall Street

William J. Beall helped build the first church and school in Bozeman. Mr. Beall met John Bozeman and Daniel Rouse on his way to sell potatoes to gold miners in Virginia City. Giving up on their hopes in the gold rush, the three men decided to build a town in the fertile farmland of the Gallatin Valley. He built his home just north of Main Street, marking one of the first homes in Bozeman.

 

Rouse Avenue

Daniel Elliott Rouse was a traveler and farmer who lived in and helped establish settlements all over the United States. He moved to the Gallatin Valley in 1862, where he met John Bozeman and William Beall. Mr. Rouse helped build the first cabins and hotels in 1864.

 

Alderson Street

William White Alderson contributed a lot to the success of the town. He helped build a Methodist Church, hauled in logs for the town’s first school, started a dairy herd, served as an agent with the Sioux tribe, and became one of the first members of Bozeman’s municipal council.

 

Babcock Street

Carpenter William H. Babcock made the long journey to Bozeman from San Francisco in 1864. As an architect, he oversaw the construction of the Bozeman Opera House in 1888. Mr. Babcock became a rich man in Bozeman. He built a mansion known as “the Castle” on North Church Avenue and Davis Street, which is now long gone.

 

Black Avenue

This road was named after a successful businessman in Bozeman, Leander Black. Straight from Kentucky, he partnered with Achilles Lamme from Missouri to open a general store, competing with Lester Willson’s general store on the north-side of the street. With three other partners, Mr. Black expanded his business by opening the First National Bank of Bozeman in 1872.

 

Durston Road

Durston Road was named after an iconic Montana newspaper editor, John Durston. He was a highly educated man with a degree from Yale and a doctorate in Philosophy from the Heidelberg University. In 1887, Mr. Durston moved to Anaconda, Montana. In 1889, he became editor of the Anaconda Standard. After leaving the Anaconda Standard in 1912, he established the Butte Daily Post in 1913. Although he didn’t live in Bozeman, he invested in Bozeman real estate, and presumably owned a home on what is now Durston Road.

 

Story Street

Nelson Story had better luck in the gold rush than Mr. Bozeman and the other founders, making a fortune in Virginia City. With his riches, he bought approximately 1000 head of Texas Longhorns and took a big risk in the first major cattle drive through dangerous Indian territory from Texas to Montana. Mr. Story became Bozeman’s first millionaire and built the first Story Mansion on Main Street in Bozeman, then later built a second Story Mansion on the corner of Willson and College for his son, T. Byron Story. He also owned one of Bozeman’s first banks and flour mill, and donated land to launch the Montana Agricultural College.

 

Wilson Avenue

Lester Willson served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He rose through the rankings after enlisting as a private in 1861, reaching the rank of colonel by 1865. He was known for his “gallant and meritorious services under General Sherman, resulting in the fall of Atlanta, Georgia.”

In 1867, he left New York to take on a business venture in Bozeman, opening Bozeman’s first general store on 204 E. Main Street. He lived a long, fulfilling life, dying at age 79 in 1919. The community showed their respect for Willson by honoring him with the largest funeral the town had ever seen. Central Avenue was then renamed Willson Avenue in his honor.

 

The city of Bozeman had grown and prospered, becoming a major city of Montana with a population of 8,500 by 1910.

 

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Related Article:

How Did The City of “Bozeman” Get Its Name?

 

Sources:

About The Anaconda standard. (Anaconda, Mont.) 1889-1970

Lester S. Willson

John H. Durston, B. 1858, Syracuse, NY> 1887 MT – BIO

“Nelson Story”

Street names keep Bozeman’s colorful history alive

Snow in the Big Sky Mountains!

by Hart Real Estate Solutions


Even though we still have had our share of dreamy September days with blue bird skies and perfect 55 – 60 degree nights, the mountains are starting to get a nice coating of ‘ceiling white’.   We are seeing snow in the Spanish Peaks to the South and of course, Lone Mountain – the main ski mountain at the Big Sky & Moonlight Basin Resorts along with the saddle in the Bridgers.


The juxtaposition of 70 degree temperatures in the Valley with snow on the mountains is what makes Bozeman, well... Bozeman. 


We thought you might also enjoy the Big Sky Resort Tram Cam in Big Sky from the top of Lone Mountain– see this link:

                  https://bigskyresort.com/the-mountain/webcams/interactive-tram-cam
 
If you are thinking about a great ski trip this winter, be sure to check out our local, but world class resorts:

Bozeman Market Report - Home Sales Are On The Rise

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Statistically, there have been more sales single family homes in Bozeman in 2016 as compared to 2015. This would include every price range up to $700,000.   Also to note, the list price to sales price ratio is higher across the board, exceeding 98% in all price ranges under $700,000.

In price ranges above $700,000, 2015 had 65 sales verses 49 sales this year.

New construction sales are also slightly stronger in 2016 than the same period last year, with 110 sales of new homes so far this year.

We continue to see new inventory hit the market and go under contract quickly.  If you are thinking about selling, now may be the time to see what your home is worth and plan for winter house projects.

Bozeman is Booming

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

It seems it wasn’t that long ago when distressed properties (bank owned and short sales) made up a significant percentage of the market and there was ‘value’ everywhere.   I put value in quotes as no one really knew how to evaluate value other than to define it as properties that were significantly off their peak value.  I had one particularly wise investor that was purchasing very simple, straightforward investments (condos and townhomes priced under $80,000.00) with the goal of a 10 – 12% return on a cash investment.   He already owned many multi-families but he saw value and also ease of resale in purchasing individual units – he has doubled his investment in most cases.

So much has changed since then.   Without sounding like a glorified cheerleader, here are some quick stats & interesting facts about Bozeman and the surrounding areas, including Big Sky, Gallatin Gateway, Manhattan, Belgrade, and Livingston.

  • Our local university, Montana State University….
    • Had yet another year of record enrollment.  This year enrollment climbed above 16,000 students.  This is the tenth time in the last eleven years that MSU has set an enrollment record.  This makes MSU Montana’s largest university. 
    • Montana State is among the top 3% of colleges and universities in the nation for research expenditures and typically exceeds $100 Million per year – are you kidding me?  This makes MSU the largest research and development entity of any kind in the state.
  • Tech companies are booming in Bozeman
    • A few years ago, in 2011, a boot strapped tech company named Right Now Technologies was purchased by Oracle for $1.5 billion
    • According to Oracle’s founder, Greg Gianforte, in a recent speech he gave, Bozeman is now home to 82 tech companies
    • We are seeing tech companies come here for a myriad of reasons – quality of life, affordable housing as compared to Silicon Valley and other hot beds of tech, a talented work force and more.
  • Montana ranked first in start-ups in the entire US for the fourth straight year
  • The Bozeman Yellowstone International airport is the busiest in the state – 2015 saw over 1,000,000 passengers – a record for the state and the first time this many passengers were accommodated ever
  • Yellowstone Park is just down the road – an absolute jewel in the US
  • The Big Sky ski area also saw record guests at 440,000 visits in 2015 – Big Sky also announced a 10-year plan to invest $150,000,000.00 in improvements to the mountain to accommodate over 650,000 annual visits projected by the year 2025.
  • Bozeman population grew at 4.5% from 2014 to 2015 – standing at 43,400 residents according to the US Census Bureau

I am only scratching the surface – more to come in future letters. There is no better time to join us in Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley!

Bozeman Floodplain Maps Redrawn

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The City of Bozeman and the Gallatin County have prepared an updated floodplain map for the greater Bozeman area. The current map was produced almost 30 years ago, so county and city planners want to remap flood areas surrounding Bozeman Creek and the West Gallatin River. County planners want to make sure that all homes in the area are properly prepared for a potential flood and would have the proper insurance in place.

As many riverside residents might be able to tell you, many homes along Bozeman Creek require flood insurance. The new draft will add about 140 additional buildings to the floodplain while removing 108 other buildings. Homes that have been added to the floodplain could see additional costs like flood insurance get added to their bills. Having a home in the floodplain could also affect the property’s value. Currently, the new floodplain map is only a draft. Officials want to have it finalized in the next 2 years.

Safety is always the paramount goal when City Officials look to update or renovate real estate regulations. Updating Bozeman’s floodplain map will help validate that all Bozemanites are living in safe homes and that no one is risking house and home for a closer river lot.

 

Source: http://www.abcfoxmontana.com/story/31642274/bozeman-redraws-flood-maps-could-cost-property-owners

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/bozeman-gallatin-co-work-on-floodplain-map-update/38887916

 

Bozeman Looks to Expand Cottonwood, Durston Intersection

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

In early February, the Bozeman City Commission focused their efforts towards road expansion and reconstruction on the west side of town. With Bozeman's growth rate in the top ten nationally, road expansions and construction will continue to be needed. The city wants to expand the intersection of Cottonwood and Durston Road to better address the growth in the area. Bozeman has and will continue to find additional funding for city streets so long as growth continues.

Ideally, the commission would like to expand Cottonwood to four lanes and widen Durston to three lanes. The plan would also add a new light on the intersection of Cottonwood and Babcock. The commission would install roundabouts at Oak and Baxter, and Flanders Mill and Ferguson.

Bozeman’s growth, particularly on the west side, have increased traffic in the area. With the fastest growing economy in Montana, Bozeman continues to stay on the national radar. Its been awarded as one of the nation’s most liveable towns, a top worldwide destination and a top college town in the past 2 years. School districts continue to break enrollment records, Expanding neighborhoods like Laurel Glen and Valley West have attracted more residents to the west side of Bozeman, putting more strain on the nearby roads. More commercial permits have also been given on the west side of Bozeman, increasing traffic as well.

Durston and Cottonwood improvements would cost an estimated 30 million dollars and would be broken into several projects over the coming years.

 

Source: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Bozeman-seeks-expansion-of-Cottonwood-Durston/37762862

 

New Bozeman Neighborhood: The Lakes at Valley West

by Tim Hart

The final plat of Valley West Subdivision’s final phase was approved on October 5th, allowing development to begin on Bozeman’s west side. The Lakes at Valley West, as the final phase is called, has been under formal review for the past year. Now with approval, it will bring approximately 60 homes and 2 lakes to the already thriving subdivision.

Valley West has been one of the fastest growing and most active subdivisions in Bozeman. The final phase will help provide amenities to the current neighborhood while also increasing home inventory in the Bozeman area.

Bozeman, like the United States overall, has dealt with rising values and a very competitive rental market. Across the nation, builders have been trying to increase home inventory to help alleviate rising home values. With both rental values reaching an all time high as well as rental vacancies reaching an all time low, increasing the number of homes available should help increase competition.

Bozeman has approved additional neighborhoods, apartment complexes and multi-use properties to try to increase local inventory. Bozeman has also looked into trimming lot sizes to make the home building process more affordable. Currently, commissioners have put an inclusionary zoning proposal on hold as well.

 

Source: http://www.ktvq.com/story/30282335/growth-spurt-on-west-side-of-bozeman

 

YMCA Community Center Progressing in Bozeman

by Tim Hart

With initial plans being submitted to the City Planning office for a new YMCA community center, it appears the project only needs to secure funding in order to move forward with plans.

The building, designed to be 20,000 square feet, will be approximately a 6 million dollar project, slightly up from March projections of 5.5 Million dollars. In March, the Gallatin Valley YMCA had raised 2.5 million for the project. Now, they have secured $300,000 in additional donations and are 1.2 million short of the 4 million needed to move forward on the project. The 4 million dollars would be used to secure construction financing while also being used to seek grant support from other foundations.

Initially, the YMCA had plans to team up with the City of Bozeman to also include a new aquatics center for West Bozeman residents. However, that plan has been put on hold as city officials have now started work on passing a bond for a new, shared Law and Justice Center for the city and Gallatin County. The community center will be built in a way that will allow an aquatic center to connect at some point in the future.

Bozeman continues to put in the necessary infrastructure as it expands to the west. West end Bozeman residents will be happy to hear that these sort of projects are in the pipeline and will help them keep their travel distances to a minimum in Bozeman.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/fundraising-for-new-bozeman-ymca-center-plugging-away/article_8a464ed9-ca26-58ba-94bb-ece4569c2a22.html

At the end of September, Bozeman and County Commissioners agreed to hire an architect to design the new law and justice center for the local area. The effort would be a shared joint effort between county and city governments, necessitated from the overall costs of such a project. Hiring an architect shows each government’s resolve to get the project approved and underway in Bozeman.

Both commissions approved unanimously to hire ThinkOne architects to submit building designs by the end of June 2016. Hiring an architect is just the first stage however, as the multi-million dollar construction bond that funds the project will be put up for voter approval in November of 2016.

Due to the high level of uncertainty in Bozeman’s construction market, ThinkOne Architects has been asked to submit 30% of the required design documents by the end of June, which will help calculate the building’s cost for the vote next fall.

Currently, Bozeman holds the honor of being Montana’s safest major town. With Bozeman’s recent growth and economic expansion, it will be important to maintain order moving forward. Having the correct infrastructure in place will allow Bozeman to stay on top of any potential crime and keep Bozeman’s reputation safe and flourishing.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/county/bozeman-gallatin-county-hire-architect-commit-to-joint-cops-and/article_e0e30498-cc83-526a-bc6c-728a2329f128.html

 

 

Bozeman Montana Airport Surpasses 1 Million Visitors

by Tim Hart

The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport surpassed 1 million total passengers over a 12 month period. From September 2014 to 2015, 1,000,483 passengers either boarded or exited a plane in Bozeman.

The airport saw a 4.4% increase compared to September 2013 to 2014 numbers.

In 2014, Bozeman had the busiest Montana airport, despite not having the highest population. The proximity of nearby attractions has really helped boost Bozeman’s tourism and economy.

In order to better host their rising totals, the airport has drafted plans to expand the airport in the next 5 to 10 years. The airport would like to add a second paved runway, expand the terminal, add a new parking garage and add a new de-icing area.

The airport and Bozeman both help each other and grow with each other. The airport attracts people, allowing Bozeman to sell itself, but oftentimes these visitors return again or sometimes become permanent residents. Once the airport expands, local residents can expect more tourists and more people looking to stay for an extended time.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/economy/bozeman-airport-sees-million-passengers-over--month-period/article_c9da6b5f-2f28-59ba-b9bc-42efc3d774c4.html

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