The stone foundation and masonry fabric of this early 1880s commercial building reflect the change to fireproof building materials after 1879, when a catastrophic fire destroyed most of Main Street. In 1884, the two-story building, like many of its neighbors, had multiple uses. A millinery shop occupied the first floor, the second floor housed a carpet warehouse, and the basement functioned as a dwelling.
By 1890, Thibault and Inghran ran a saloon on the premises, thereby establishing the building’s major commercial use that continues today. Blue and yellow tile highlight the 1930s ground-floor façade, which adds to the architectural history of this well-seasoned building. The upper-floor façade with its two front windows and decorative parapet preserves the building’s 1880s appearance.
(Note that the historic plaque indicates erroneously that this building is connected to the overpass visible in the alley. It is not. See this post.)
Resources: Historic plaque by Montana Historical Society; Architectural inventory; Sanborn Maps; city directories. Photo by Richard I. Gibson.