National Guard Howitzer Will Move to New Site
The general public have called it the "tank" at the Hamilton National Guard Armory on Main Street. But, it's not a tank. It's a self-propelled howitzer. The difference is a tank is well-armored and used in direct combat. A self-propelled gun is more suited to long-range shelling and can be moved quickly to keep it from being a target itself.
No matter what you call the vehicle, it's being moved to a new location on the north end of Hamilton. The National Guard's Detachment 2, 230th Engineering Company was transferred to Anaconda a couple of years ago, which left the Hamilton armory property vacant. The City of Hamilton, following a public vote, bought the property and will be remodeling the building to become a new Justice Center with City Police and City Court offices. And a plan was formed to move the gun. A concrete pad has already been poured next to the Veterans Memorial at the entrance to Hieronymus Park by the Bitterroot River Inn. The howitzer will be moved there, according to Hamilton Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf.
Hamilton's National Guard armory was built in the 1950s and mobile military equipment has been stored there through the years. The large main hall of the building was also used for various public gatherings and even some teen dances (with live music!) in the 1960s.