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.