612 Hauser Avenue North (Lehrkind House)

Hi-Bug Historic District

The manager of the Red Lodge Brewery, Paul Lehrkind, purchased this lot in 1920, likely with the intent of building a home. However, despite efforts to survive Prohibition by manufacturing the "near beer" Bud-O ("Always on Top"), Lehrkind was forced to close the brewery in 1921. He left Red Lodge soon after, selling the property to Walter Helm, a butter-maker at (and later owner of) the Carbon County Creamery. Borrowing $1,500 from the Carbon Building and Loan Association, Walter and his wife Margaret constructed this one-and-one-half-story Craftsman bungalow. The residence is one of the best executed examples of the Craftsman style in Red Lodge. Its careful detailing includes vertical stick work in the main gable, wide overhanging eaves, exposed rafter tails, and angled knee braces. "Battered" square columns support the large, inviting front porch. Craftsman style design emphasized "coziness, comfort, function, and economy" and embraced the idea that "beauty does not imply elaboration." The results were highly livable homes like this one, which remained in the Helm family until 1971.

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612 Hauser Avenue North, Red Lodge, Montana ~ Private