John Quincy Adams of the Milwaukee Land Company, a subsidiary of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway, platted the present town of Three Forks in 1908. Unlike most railroad officials, Adams and his son, B. S. Adams, took an unusual personal interest in the town’s development. Foundations were laid for the J. Q. Adams Block in 1916. In March 1918, the Three Forks Herald finally reported completion proclaiming it “one of the most beautiful [buildings] in the State.” The Neo-classical style building represents what might today line Three Forks’ commercial district had drought, World War I, and depression not intervened. Elegant brickwork and sophisticated proportion reflect the talents of an anonymous, finely trained architect. A significant representative example of early twentieth century “modern” local architecture, the clean lines and symmetry contrast sharply with Three Forks’ earlier, more heavily ornamented commercial buildings. The upper façade remains unchanged. The first ground-floor occupants were the Robertson Jewelry and Drug Company and the Adams’ Three Forks Land Company. A private men’s social club occupied the second floor. Members played billiards and pool in a large arched open space surrounded by oak panels. The club had a kitchen, dining area, and quarters for the live-in steward. The billiards room and sitting room with fireplace remain intact on the second floor. The tin ceiling, mosaic floor tiles, and two vaults survive on the main floor. The exterior masonry and windows are as originally designed except the tin storefront and glass were removed and “modernized” in 1972.

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123 Main Street, Three Forks, Montana ~ Private