In 1905, a devastating fire swept through Stevensville destroying many of the town’s vulnerable wooden buildings. The tragedy prompted local officials to pass an ordinance requiring architects and contractors to build with non-flammable materials. Consequently all concrete block buildings in Stevensville date from the post-fire period between 1906 and 1916. Concrete block construction was a new technology at the time, but inexpensive on-site production was easily accomplished with a minimum of special equipment. D. L. Cannon, who lost his own general store in the fire, began Stevensville’s first concrete blockworks in 1907. Along with builders W. R. Rodgers and Lon Young, Cannon did much to promote the new building method. This fine example of early-twentieth-century cast-concrete construction was built by Cannon in 1909. The L-shaped, pyramidal-roofed cottage of vernacular design well illustrates Cannon’s excellent craftsmanship. Two large cottage windows with leaded glass and concrete lintels add to the appeal of this well-preserved home. Former Stevensville postmaster and Fort Owen Grange officer John Lancaster purchased the newly constructed modern home in 1909. Upon his death three years later, the property was bequeathed to James Lancaster, and the home remained in the family until 1928.

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407 East 3rd Street, Stevensville, Montana ~ Private