Lee Pleasant Driver's Saloon and Club Rooms

Anaconda Commercial Historic District

After attending Fisk University in Tennessee, Lee Pleasant Driver enlisted in the Twenty-fifth U.S. Colored Infantry in 1888. The twenty-five-year-old private, who soon advanced to corporal, served at Forts Keogh (Miles City) and Missoula. He was one of the famed “buffalo soldiers,” who patrolled the frontier following the Civil War. Driver remained in Montana after his 1891 discharge, moving to Anaconda four years later. By 1902, he had opened a club room on Main Street, where he also sold cigars and liquor. Around 1909, he moved his establishment to 106 Commercial, expanding into 104 Commercial the following year. Anaconda had approximately 125 African American residents in 1910, and Driver’s Saloon and Club Rooms served as the community’s male social center. Among the organizations that met in his club rooms was the Negro Republican Club; members elected Driver president at their inaugural meeting in 1910. Driver closed the saloon by 1915, and two years later he and his wife Pearl moved their family to a 274-acre homestead ten miles east of Anaconda.

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104-106 East Commercial Avenue, Anaconda, Montana ~ Public