Filed Under Forsyth

Merchant's Bank Block

Forsyth Main Street Historic District

A 1912 fire at the next-door American Hotel likely provided the impetus to stucco the façade of this brick building. Thomas Alexander, a pioneer businessman and founder of the Merchant’s Bank, built the first story of the two-story business block around 1893. Alexander’s bank occupied the east half of the main floor; the Post Office Store occupied the west half. The second story was completed in late 1894 and features a geometric, elaborately corbelled brick cornice. According to local legend, business competitor Hiram Marcyes blackballed Alexander from the Masons. However, Alexander was active in other fraternal organizations, and he incorporated a hall on the second floor “for the use of secret societies.” Both bank and post office had moved by 1900, and the Main Street storefronts became home to other businesses. In 1903, a short-lived bowling alley was tacked onto the rear of the building. Around 1910, the American Hotel, also owned by Alexander, took over the second floor. A passageway cut between the second-story walls connected the guest rooms in this building to the main hotel.

Images

Merchant's Bank Block Still image capture of the Merchant's Bank Block, Forsyth, Montana. Image information drawn from related files. b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: Feb. 1989

Location

927 Main Street, Forsyth, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Merchant's Bank Block,” Historic Montana, accessed December 1, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/1796.