H.J. Wackerlin Hardware Company

Fort Benton Historic District

This building opened in 1882 during Fort Benton’s “glory days” as Montana’s largest hardware store. T. C. Power and Hans Wackerlin operated the business. Wackerlin, a tinsmith, had come to Fort Benton in 1867 aboard the steam boat Richmond, which had been commandeered from Missouri to Montana by Quantrill’s Raiders. Affiliation with I. G. Baker in 1888 allowed Wackerlin to expand his inventory, adding shelf and builder’s hardware, queensware, glassware, and house furnishings. Wackerlin sold out to T. C. Power in 1895.

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1620 Front Street, Fort Benton, Montana ~ Private