Anaconda Commercial Historic District

Backed by the powerful San Francisco syndicate of Hearst, Haggin and Tevis, Marcus Daly built the world’s largest smelter (combined upper and lower works) on Warm Springs Creek between 1883 and 1889. Along with the smelters, Daly envisioned a substantial city and filed the original townsite plat June 25, 1883. While smelter construction got underway that summer, people arrived faster than building supplies. The first boarding houses and saloons opened in tents. A railroad spur soon linked the town to the Anaconda Mine in Butte. By the time the furnaces of the Upper Works fired up in the fall of 1884, Anaconda’s 80 buildings included seven hotels and boarding houses and twelve saloons. At the end of 1885, Anaconda’s reduction works had a payroll of 1,700. The Anaconda Copper Mining Company dominated the local economy. Company subsidiaries built and maintained the city water supply, electric power system, and street railway. Daly and his associates established key commercial enterprises including the major bank, retailer D. J. Hennessy’s local company store, a race track, the highly acclaimed Montana Standard, and the Montana Hotel. Modeled after New York City’s Hoffman House, this premier hotel represented Daly’s political ambition as he promoted Anaconda in the race for state capital. Daly was bitterly disappointed when the city lost the capital race in 1894, but Anaconda survived as a vibrant piece of the Montana mosaic. Significant for its labor history and ethnic diversity, this unique company town was a place where private enterprise also flourished. Elaborate Victorian-era business blocks and the more utilitarian façades of the early twentieth century are testimony to a vigorous business community.

Electric Light Building

A heavy metal cornice, cast iron columns, and a metal frieze still embellish this building, constructed in 1895. Two cast-iron oriel windows once also graced the upper story. The Anaconda Company’s foundry produced the decorative metal front, a prime…

Marcus Daly & Company Bank Building

Marcus Daly and W. L. Hoge founded Anaconda’s first bank in 1883. Hoge, Anaconda’s first mayor, sold his interest in the bank to Daly in 1895. The institution became the Marcus Daly & Company Bank and later, the First National Bank of Anaconda.…

Fuller Drug Company

The stepped brick parapet boasts a concrete nameplate, “Fuller Drug Company,” harkening back to this building’s long service as a drugstore. The sleek, black tile siding on the building’s first story reflects its next incarnation as the Highland…

Barich Block

Austrian immigrant George Barich came to Anaconda from Butte in 1883 to work at the smelter. He later turned to commercial business and, in 1892, commissioned builders Daniel Dwyer and John Cosgrove to construct the first floor of this block. Barich…

Ida Block

Anaconda grew practically overnight. Platted in June 1883, Anaconda already boasted eighty buildings by December 1884, including a wood-frame clothing store on this corner, built by pioneering Jewish merchant Wolfe (William) Copinus. In 1888, Copinus…

206-208 East Park Avenue

Simple one-story brick commercial blocks became popular with investors in the early twentieth century. By economizing on ornamentation and expensive second floor residential fixtures like kitchen cabinets and indoor plumbing, a landowner could…

Morse/Palace Block

Thomas Silha and sisters Mary Vollenweider and Margaret Morse hired architect Joseph White to design this commercial/residential building in 1911. The $20,000 brick building originally featured identical storefronts with glass display windows topped…

Weiss Block

In October 1900, German tailors William Weiss and John Zilinsky invested in this commercial building. They paid an exorbitant $9,500 for three lots behind Marcus Daly’s bank, where they constructed the first story of this two-story building. Early…

219 East Commercial Avenue

In 1888, one- and two-story, wood-frame commercial buildings filled almost the entire block. Constructed circa 1890 on the block’s last vacant lot, this store was home to McKinnon and MacKay’s grocery. An expanse of brick with three recessed panels…

St. Jean Block/Smith Building

Dr. Felix L. St. Jean and brick mason Joe Cosgrove commissioned local architect Herman Kemna to design this building in 1893. Though later owners remodeled the first-floor façade and renamed the building, the second story remains among the best…

Furst Block

French immigrant and wealthy Deer Lodge Valley dairyman John Furst built this brick store and boardinghouse for $5,000 in 1895. Just steps away from Marcus Daly’s new bank and the fine Montana Hotel, the Furst Block fit in well amongst its high-style…

Thorsen Brothers Grocery

The well-preserved Thorsen Brothers Grocery building is a classic example of an early-twentieth-century commercial building. The decorative brick parapet made the building look larger and offered ample room for signage, while tall display windows…

O'Leary's Feed Store

Butte architect James Calloway Teague designed this commercial and warehouse building in 1915 to house James O’Leary’s Feed Store. Teague’s design is simple in comparison to the more exuberant buildings on Park and Commercial Avenues. Nevertheless,…

Schmidt Plumbing

Contractor John Jacobson built this brick store and boardinghouse in 1915, during a time of rapid commercial and residential expansion in Anaconda. Downtown Anaconda property owners developed every square foot of their lots during this boom,…

Adams'/Strain's Department Store

Contractor A. M. Walker constructed this simple one-story brick commercial block for department store owner S. C. Adams in 1902. Though Adams did not pay to embellish the exterior of the building, he did spend lavishly on advertising and events. His…

Lee Pleasant Driver's Saloon and Club Rooms

After attending Fisk University in Tennessee, Lee Pleasant Driver enlisted in the Twenty-fifth U.S. Colored Infantry in 1888. The twenty-five-year-old private, who soon advanced to corporal, served at Forts Keogh (Miles City) and Missoula. He was one…