Pape Building

Livingston Commercial Historic District

In 1883, Wetzstein Hall, a two-story wooden building with a liquor wholesale operation on the first floor and a public hall on the second, stood on this site. In 1902, Fred Pape opened the National Park Steam Laundry here. He purchased the building in 1903, only to see it burn to the ground a few months later. The fire, which started in Pape’s laundry, caused an estimated $20,000 of damage and destroyed two other wooden buildings on this block. The street’s brick buildings were spared. Pape hired builder-architect John Sundberg to construct a dignified two-story, fire-resistant brick business block. Completed in three months, the 1904 building originally housed Frank Bliss’s Solo Saloon on the first floor. The second floor became a lodging house, managed by Pape’s wife Clorinda. In 1910, Clorinda rented the rooms to a baseball player, farm laborer, waiter, real estate agent, waitress, and railroad conductor. During Prohibition, the Solo became a soft drink parlor and relocated, but according to local lore, the New York Candy Kitchen, which occupied the first floor, doubled as a speakeasy.

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117 West Park Street, Livingston, Montana ~ Private