Anaconda Commercial Historic District
Thomas Silha and sisters Mary Vollenweider and Margaret Morse hired architect Joseph White to design this commercial/residential building in 1911. The $20,000 brick building originally featured identical storefronts with glass display windows topped by prismatic glass panels that reflected daylight deep into the interior. Furnished rooms upstairs offered housekeeping services. In 1912, Thomas Silha’s Palace Block on the south housed a confectionery and cigar store and Orton Bros. Pianos in the rear. In 1915, Charles Tescher and wife Marion ran a pool hall and furnished rooms in the Morse Block on the north, but by 1917 they had moved into Silha’s confectionery next door and added a Brunswick bowling alley. Earl Tucker and William A. J. Thompson ran the alley from 1928 until the mid-1930s. Thompson’s grandson Jack opened a bar by 1952. Next door, Morse and Vollenweider managed tenants upstairs, and Morse’s son John ran a pool hall and confectionery until the early 1940s. Both widows, Vollenweider and Morse incorporated their business in 1928 and became well known real estate investors in both Anaconda and Butte—an unusual profession for women at the time.