Altamont had an awful fire Sunday, August 3, 1919. Fifteen occupied business houses were totally destroyed in one hour and forty-five minutes. It was a deplorable condition to have your town so burned that you haven’t a drug store, an eating house, or a soda fountain right in the sizzling month of August.
The first band concert was played on Saturday night, June 1, 1927, beginning at 8:15 p.m. and lasting for at least an hour. Every musician who had an instrument was invited to join the local band.
Altamont began with a single frame building (post office) and a dirt “main street” with approximately 200 citizens. Through the years, a railroad station, livery stable, blacksmith shops, the town well, and a hotel were added. Business was conducted mainly on credit, and when a customer paid his bill, he always received a free sack of candy whether it be licorice, hard candy, or cinnamon drops at the local general store. Restrooms were, of course, the privy outside the back room.
Altamont’s strong religious heritage started with the Presbyterian Church with records dating back to March 20, 1880 with a membership of 94 persons. Church was well attended by residents of Altamont and from the rural area surrounding Altamont.
On September 14, 1892, the new schoolhouse was opened with an attendance of 18 boys and 15 girls. The charge was $2.00 a month. A special act was passed by the state legislature in 1893 which provided for the establishment of a county high school to be located in Altamont, Kansas. Three courses were offered to the students which included normal training, a general course, and a college preparatory course.