Samuel and Jennie Greenblatt Residence

Jewish merchant Samuel Greenblatt moved to Fromberg from Gebo in 1900. An immigrant from Russia, Greenblatt built the town’s first commercial building. Two years later he married Jennie Hetch of Chicago at Temple Emanu-El in Helena. Greenblatt built his “cash only” mercantile at a time when store credit was the norm. Although the couple and their two daughters moved to Denver in 1909, they returned to Fromberg at the peak of its prosperity in 1911 and built this Colonial Revival home. Local carpenter W. C. Parker constructed the “modern” residence, promising it “would be one of the best buildings in town.” A skilled craftsman, Parker distinguished the home with a half-story “great room” and ornamental woodwork; the gambrel roof, a hallmark of Parker’s, featured a tri-foil window in the front gambrel. The home was built in front of a 1905 two-story wooden barn that Greenblatt used to store hay for his horse. As a pioneering businessman, Samuel considered himself a “square dealing merchant” who operated “with justice to all; special favors to none.” His store offered clothing, fabric, and furniture; he also sold sugar, lard, and other groceries. Grenblatt bought hides and pelts as well as old rubber, copper, and brass. Despite his enterprising nature, the mercantile failed in 1913 and the family moved to Billings. Coal company owner W. E. Pinkney purchased the home in 1914, but then sold it in the 1920s to Martin and Bertha Halpin of Fromberg Pressed Brick and Tile.

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215 West River Street, Fromberg, Montana ~ Private