A livery and feed stable stood here in the 1880s and 1890s, but in 1901, William Nevitt, hardware store owner and “capitalist,” decided that downtown Bozeman could use more commercial space. The Avant Courier reported on the progress of his new business block: “the basement walls … are going up as if by magic.” To expedite construction, Nevitt imported “dressed stone for sills, watertables, etc, from the east … When Mr. Nevitt starts in on any important enterprise he usually carries it through with a rush.” Nevitt had the building’s name, the Gallatin, carved in stone. Other historic elements include the cornerstone, marked 1901, and the diamond pattern of raised brick (called corbelling) on the upper façade. The Fair Department Store originally occupied the ground floor atop a small corner barbershop in the basement. Advertising itself as “the place to save money,” the Fair sold clothing—including coats, shoes, and corsets—as well as household linens, chimney lamps, and coal hods. After 1927, a confectionery (candy store) and a clothing store shared the main floor. Tenants, including renowned Bozeman architect Fred Willson, occupied second-floor offices.