Abraham and Carrie Erb House

Turned porch supports, elaborately carved brackets, a baluster frieze, and decorative cresting along the roofline ornament this gable-front-and-wing residence. Railroads brought these precut architectural elements to small towns along their tracks, allowing builders to personalize homes. According to local sources, Edgar Camp built this home in old Laurel, likely as part of his real estate business. Abraham and Carrie Erb purchased the house circa 1907, cutting it in two to transport it to their farm adjacent to the recently platted new Laurel. The Erbs set the home onto a cast concrete block foundation. Simple and inexpensive to manufacture, cast concrete was virtually unheard of in 1900, but the decorative material had become popular soon after, particularly for foundations. During his residence, Abraham farmed and briefly owned an implement store. Carrie was active in the local woman’s club, a moving force behind creating Laurel’s library. After Abraham’s untimely death in 1916, Carrie hired a man to work the farm; the bunkhouse dates from that time. She also took a job directing the new library, which she had helped found. Even so, Carrie had to rent rooms to make ends meet, particularly during the depression. In 1930, she and her two children shared the home with a railroad worker, his wife, and their seven children, ages seven to six months. Carrie retired from the library at age seventy-seven in 1951. She resided here until her death in 1966. Family members continued to live here until 2002.

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110 4th Avenue, Laurel, Montana ~ Private