John Gibson House
Norwegian-born immigrant John Gibson arrived in the Clarks Fork Valley at the turn of the twentieth century and soon opened brickyards in Fromberg and nearby Belfry. Gibson became one of the area’s most prominent contractors, constructing Fromberg’s first brick building, the I.O.O.F. Hall, in 1906. Gibson’s future, however, did not lie in bricks. When a competitor supplanted his company in 1909, the resolute contractor established a small concrete plant adjacent to this property. Here Gibson began to manufacture concrete block for building construction, sidewalk blocks, drain tile, flue liners, and fenceposts. By the 1910s, his patented culvert design was acclaimed the best on the market, and in 1914, Gibson supplied the concrete for the construction of the Fromberg Concrete Arch Bridge. To promote the use of concrete and demonstrate its viability in residential construction, Gibson built his own home of concrete block next to the factory circa 1909. It was, and still is, unique to Fromberg. Gibson subsequently enlarged the home and in 1929, tastefully remodeled it adding Craftsman style detailing. A gable-roofed front porch and extended eaves with exposed rafters add the characteristic elements of this popular style. Concrete lug sills and stucco with an unusual mixture of rock and colored glass reveal Gibson’s exceptionally fine craftsmanship.