Laux Building

Lewistown Central Business Historic District

Philip Laux came to Montana in 1885 from Germany and worked in a Helena stone quarry until he relocated to Lewistown in 1890. Two of the earliest stone builders in Lewistown, brothers John and Philip Laux built many local buildings. This 1905 building illustrates the use of mixed architectural styles along Lewistown’s Main Street. The building functioned primarily as a saloon in its early years. Henry Osmers operated the Blue Goose Saloon at 216 West Main from 1910 until 1918 when Montana officially went dry. When Prohibition forced the closure of all saloons, the Laux building served as a billiards parlor, clothing store, and rooming house until the end of Prohibition in 1933. The Acme Rooming House, boasting “Baths, Steam Heat, thoroughly Modern and Convenient,” operated upstairs from 1916 until 1975. The Empire Café opened in the mid-1940s.

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214 West Main Street, Lewistown, Montana ~ Private