Power Mercantile Building

Lewistown Central Business Historic District

Possibly one of the first architect-designed stone buildings along Main Street, the Power Mercantile Building is the most visible example of Lewistown’s stone architecture. Merchant Francis Janeaux became indebted to supplier T. C. Power and lost his buildings, merchandise, and some lots to cover his $5,096 debt. The Power Brothers established the Power Mercantile Company in 1883 and dispatched N. M. Erickson to run the operation. Erickson petitioned for a post office designation for Lewistown and became the city’s first postmaster on March 10, 1884. Erickson remained managing partner of Power Mercantile until his death in 1894. W. D. Symmes filled Erickson’s vacant post and ultimately became sole proprietor of the mercantile. Active in Lewistown’s development, Symmes served two non-consecutive terms as mayor. The well-established business moved into this larger stone facility in 1901. The mercantile continued to flourish, expanding with a matching addition in 1913. The addition connected the store on Main Street with the warehouse on Broadway. Eventually Power Mercantile occupied most of the 300 block of Main Street.

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302 West Main Street, Lewistown, Montana ~ Private