Powder Horn Signs join Elite Club of Historic Signs in Bozeman

By BRIANNA SCHUTZ/Montana State News

The Powder Horn signs are now deemed historic after a 4-1 vote at the Bozeman City Commission meeting Monday. Deputy Mayor Jeff Krause was the only commission member apprehensive towards the idea.

“The Legion is still the Legion, the R-Bar is still the R-bar and the Baxter is still more or less the Baxter,” argued Krause. However, Courtney Kramer for the Bozeman Historic Society made quite the counter argument for the Commission.

Kramer used visual aids to show signs from the past and how they make contributions to Historic Downtown Bozeman based on their significant era-based design. For example, the original Powder Horn sign from the late 1930’s demonstrates unique depression-era advertising. The later 1940’s three-dimensional color, neon tubed side is period advertising for the post WWII crowd.

The biggest factor commission members really appreciated about the induction of these signs into the Historical Society was that they would be restored to their original condition. All transformers, neon units, flashers, maintenance and paint would be replaced to look as great as they originally did.

Each sign has significance for the time period in which they came around and therefore prove to be important historically for Bozeman. Though the 35 and 37 East Main Street building will now be occupied by Schnee’s Shoes and Boots they hope to continue to maintain some of the Powder Horn spirit.

The induction of the Powder Horn signs as historic was a bit of a debate between commission members which forced them to decide that specific guidelines in the future may help making decisions like these easier and prevent an overcrowding of “historic” signs in the future.

Edited by Meghan O’Neal.

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