Filed Under Virginia City

E.L. Smith Store

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

The design of this false-fronted wooden shop, built in 1863, includes hand-hewn timbers and bay windows, which are said to have been Montana’s first “show windows.” The Star Billiard Hall was an early tenant, followed by a shoe dealer, and, in the 1870s, the “New York One Price Clothing House.” E. L. Smith opened a dry goods store here in 1880 and later moved to the Merk Block, now the Pioneer Bar. Many items displayed here are from Smith’s actual inventory, donated by the Smith family.


E. L. Smith Store, Virginia City, Montana
E. L. Smith Store, Virginia City, Montana South side of Wallace Street showing E. L. Smith Store at left and Ten Pin Alley Saloon Source: National Historic Landmark nomination form for Viriginia City. From an inventory report compiled by Olaf Hagen, U.S. Forest Service Region 2, 1937. On file at the Montana State Historic Preservation Office and the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D. C. Creator: W. R. Rankin, photographer Date: Sept 1937
E. L. Smith Store, Virginia City
E. L. Smith Store, Virginia City View of building facade on Wallace St. Source: Montana Heritage Commission Creator: Kate Steeley, Montana Heritage Commission Date: Oct 2019


304 West Wallace Street, Virginia City, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “E.L. Smith Store,” Historic Montana, accessed May 30, 2024,