Filed Under Forsyth

Choisser Block

Forsyth Residential Historic District

Sunrays filtering through a window apparently ignited straw packing in the basement of the J. E. Choisser Wholesale Liquor Company in July 1917. Bottles of liquor burst in the flames, fueling a fire that ultimately gutted the two-story building. Self-made entrepreneur Joseph Choisser built the original business block in 1908 for approximately $30,000. The post office shared one of the storefronts with a newsstand from 1910 to 1968. A women’s clothing store was also a long-term tenant. The manager of the Alexander Hotel, Choisser used the second floor as a hotel annex. A pedestrian overpass connected the two buildings. After the fire, Choisser hired Billings architect Curtis Oehme to renovate and add a third story to the property. The original 1908 pediment, inscribed “J. E. Choisser,” tops the three-story building, one of only two in Forsyth. Oehme’s design included a central, open light well to draw sunlight and fresh air into each hotel guestroom. Today, the building—remodeled again in the 1980s—remains a hotel frequented primarily by railroad crews laying over in Forsyth.

Images

Choisser Block
Choisser Block Choisser Block (PAc 91-51 Forsyth Roll07 F18). Front to side view of the building, facing northeast on North 9th Avenue. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Feb. 1989
Choisser Block
Choisser Block Choisser Block (PAc 91-51 Forsyth Roll07 F19). Front to side view of the building, facing southeast near the corner of North 9th Avenue and Cedar Street. The Richardson Mercantile Implement Division building is in the foreground of the photograph. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Feb. 1989

Location

167 North 9th Avenue, Forsyth, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Choisser Block,” Historic Montana, accessed May 21, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/1809.