National Bank Building
Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District
The December 1910 issue of Moody’s Magazine: The International Investors’ Monthly predicted a strong future for Deer Lodge’s new U.S. National Bank. The community only had one other bank, and the local economic forecast was bright, especially since the Milwaukee Railroad had recently situated its repair shops in Deer Lodge. With $50,000 in capital and a brand new building, the bank confidently opened for business on December 7, 1910, offering “a complimentary remembrance to … lady callers.” “A first class barber shop with modern bath rooms” occupied the daylight basement, while the bank took up the first floor. Butte architect Herman Kemna designed the brick and concrete building, which was constructed at a cost of approximately $12,000 and featured Greek Revival elements. Massive pilasters and a gabled pediment accent the cutaway corner entrance. A dropped wooden cornice wraps around the roofline on two sides. Asserting stability and permanence, the solid construction and dignified façade assured customers that their money was safe from both theft and bank failure—a tenuous assumption in the days before federal deposit insurance.