Hamilton Commercial Historic District
Marcus Daly began construction of Hamilton's water system in 1896, making indoor plumbing possible for local residents. Hot and cold running water and bathrooms in homes—found in larger cities by the 1860s—did not become commonplace until the early 1900s. With plumbers in demand, William J. Fullerton came to Hamilton in 1905 to operate the Valley Mercantile's plumbing and sheet metal business. In 1910, he bought the mercantile's interest in those departments and established his own store, which he opened here in 1911. Missoula businessman Julius Grill had just completed constructing the building and Fullerton became his longtime tenant. Arrangements like this between landlord and service-oriented renter were typical of Hamilton businesses at this end of Main Street. The upper portion of the one-story building features a unique, sophisticated, basket-weave design of polychrome brick. The metal mullion storefront and glass transom are typical of early-twentieth-century commercial architecture. Fullerton and his son were in business at this location until 1937 and elsewhere in Hamilton until about 1951. A series of appliance and electrical stores later occupied the building, including Valley Electric Shop in 1948.