Filed Under Virginia City

Overland Express/Buford Store

Virginia City Historic District

Ben Holladay’s Overland Stage opened here in 1864 with stages arriving and departing from this site for connections all over the West and the States. Bought out by Wells Fargo and Company in 1866, the office also housed the telegraph. Thirty years later, rail travel had eclipsed stage travel, so the telegraph office moved two doors east. In 1899, Simeon Buford, owner of the 1878 brick grocery store on the left and the matching 1886 grocery warehouse on the right, demolished the office building to expand his grocery business. His new connector building originally represented a modern store design compared to its older neighbors. Its classic “iron-front” façade featured fluted cast iron pilasters, a recessed entry, and floor to ceiling plate glass windows. The tall brick parapet above the windows visually tied the three buildings together. After Buford’s death in 1905, his sons carried on the business until 1926. In the 1950s, owner and preservationist Charles Bovey rehabilitated the building for use as a restaurant. He used historic photographs to return the façade back to its stage-coach era Greek Revival-style.

Images

Wells Fargo Express Office, Virginia City, Montana
Wells Fargo Express Office, Virginia City, Montana View looking south at the Wells Fargo & Co. Overland Mail and Express Office in Virginia City, Montana. A man in a suit stands on the boardwalk in front of the building. A streetlight is visible on the left. Source: PAc 956-222, Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, MT. Date: ca. 1880
Buford annex building, Virginia City, MT
Buford annex building, Virginia City, MT View looking south at Buford's annex with warehouse building to the right Source: Montana Heritage Commission Creator: Kate Steeley, photographer Date: Oct 2019
Buford Store Annex, Virginia City, MT
Buford Store Annex, Virginia City, MT View looking south at 1950s remodel of Buford Store annex Source: Joe Furshong Creator: Joe Furshong, photographer Date: Nov 2019

Location

312 W Wallace St., Virginia City, MT | public

Metadata

Montana National Register Sign Program, “Overland Express/Buford Store,” Historic Montana, accessed July 25, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/3024.