The Andrus Hotel

Dillon’s first railroad hotel, the Hotel Metlen, opened to much fanfare in 1898. However, by 1917 rapidly changing expectations of comfort and style spurred successful sheep rancher Harry Andrus to build a new, $150,000 hotel in the heart of Dillon’s business district. Andrus hired Seattle architect Jesse Warren to design a thoroughly modern and elegant Renaissance Revival style building. In his correspondence to Warren, Andrus said, “I made my money in Beaverhead County and I want to build a hotel in Dillon; the best is none too good for Beaverhead County people.” He spared no expense. The lobby, which was large enough to host dances and other community celebrations, boasted a red marble staircase with a decorative wood balustrade, stained glass windows, faux plaster classical columns, and an elevator. The ground floor included a restaurant, bar, bank, and billiard parlor. The second floor held thirty rooms and the Andrus family’s spacious suite. Most of the rooms featured carpets and private bathrooms, while every room had a telephone. The third-floor rooms hosted long-term tenants and salesman’s showrooms. When the hotel opened in February 1918, the Dillon Tribune wrote that Andrus gave “to Dillon, her people and her visitors one of the finest, most modern and best-equipped hotels in the entire northwest.” Andrus managed the hotel until his death in 1941. It proved far more than just a place for visitors to stay; it became a community institution where businesses and civic organizations held important meetings, banquets, charity sales, and other social functions.

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45 East Glendale Street, Dillon, Montana ~ Public building with private offices