Filed Under Augusta

Quinn's Garage

Two forges and an interior wood partition seared with the impressions of cattle brands manufactured on site attest to this property’s long history as a blacksmith shop. Canadian immigrant Treffle Bergeron opened (and likely built) the lot’s first smithy circa 1899. In 1913, Bergeron sold the property, and by 1916, blacksmith and mechanic Frank Quinn opened his long-running business. The next year, Quinn built this large building, which encompassed the original blacksmith shop; one portion of the original shop’s exterior walls remains intact within the seventy-five-by-one-hundred-foot garage. Quinn chose to build with cast concrete block. A popular construction material in the 1910s, cast concrete block was as fireproof as stone—important for a blacksmith shop—but much less expensive. Like many blacksmiths, Quinn’s business adapted to the era’s rapidly changing technology. While continuing to work as a blacksmith, Quinn expanded his services to meet the needs of local farmers and ranchers, repairing horse-drawn and motorized farm implements as well as automobiles. Tall roof trusses and oversized wooden swinging doors on the west elevation made it easier to accommodate oversized agricultural equipment. The entrepreneurial Quinn also sold radios, tires, and cars; he was a licensed dealer for Durant, Chalmers, and Chrysler automobiles. Active in Republican politics, Quinn hosted regular gatherings at the garage, from voter registration drives to post-county commission meeting socials. Quinn died in 1943. Five years later Richard Kenck purchased the property, where he worked as a welder and mechanic and maintained an International Harvester dealership until his retirement in 1975.

Images

Quinn's Garage, Augusta, MT View of facade Source: National Register of Places nomination form for Quinn's Garage, Augusta, MT. On file at Montana Historical Society State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, MT. Creator: Pete Brown, photographer Date: June 2019
Quinn's Garage, Augusta, MT View of facade Source: National Register of Places nomination form for Quinn's Garage, Augusta, MT. On file at Montana Historical Society State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, MT. Creator: Pete Brown, photographer Date: June 2019

Location

206 Main Street, Augusta, MT | public

Metadata

Montana National Register Sign Program, “Quinn's Garage,” Historic Montana, accessed December 3, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/3302.