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Silk Stocking Historic District - Lewistown, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 47° 04.034 W 109° 25.703
12T E 619332 N 5213834
Quick Description: In this little block and a half square area are seven of the finest homes ever built in Lewistown, all built before 1920.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 5/10/2019 4:47:20 PM
Waymark Code: WM10HHG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member ZenPanda
Views: 0

Long Description:
The Lewistown Silk Stocking Historic District is comprised of seven mansions on Washington and Boulevard Streets between 2nd and 4th Avenues, six of which are on Boulevard and one on Washington. They were all built between 1900 and 1920, the first in 1904, the last in 1919. These were the homes of seven of the successful pioneer entrepreneurs of Lewistown, ranchers, bankers, retailers, gold miners, manufacturers and even a senator. Many of the homes architect designed, they represent a variety of styles — Roman Revival, Shingle Style, Arts & Crafts, Victorian Gothic and Georgian.

Just two to three blocks north of the Main Street business district, the homes are within easy walking distance from the businesses of most of the original owners, yet well away from the hustle, bustle and noise of Main Street.


The seven large residences that comprise Lewistown’s mansion, hence “silk stocking,” district were built during the city’s period of greatest prosperity, from 1904 to 1919. In this small neighborhood, central Montana’s major entrepreneurs, whose fortunes represent historic area resource development, built their homes. In 1904, J. T. Wunderlin, a partner in the Barnes-King gold mine at Kendall and an organizer of the Empire Bank and Trust of Lewistown, built his home here. Rancher George Wiedeman built his home in 1905, better able to follow his interests in the Montana Hardware Company and the Lewistown Brick and Tile Company. In the following years, homes were also built by Weymouth D. Symmes, owner of Power Mercantile and a Lewistown mayor; by John Waite, pioneer sheep rancher, banker, and state senator; by department store owner E. C. Swietzer; by rancher-businessman Fred Warren; and by banker T. T. Taylor. Many of these homes were designed by architects. Note the variety of styles—Roman Revival, Shingle style, Arts and Crafts, and Georgian. They attest to the exuberance of this special era in Lewistown’s history.
From the NRHP plaque in the district
Lewistown Silk Stocking District
The Silk Stocking Historic District is composed of seven architecturally and/or historically significant residences, built for successful pioneer entrepreneurs during the opening years of the 20th century. Only minor alterations have occurred to the district's large homes, which date from 1904 to 1919. Located just 2 to 3 blocks from the Central Business District, on Third Ave., the area features mature landscaping and central boulevarding (on Boulevard Street). The 200 block on Boulevard had no alley allowing large grounds for the residents therin. The district retains its original scale and density.

The Silk Stocking District well illustrates the successes of Central Montana pioneer entrepeneurs. The J.T. Wunderlin and George Wiedeman homes built in 1904 & 1905 were the first in the district. Wunderlin was a partner in the Barnes-King gold mine at Kendall and an organizer of the Empire Bank and Trust Co. in Lewistown. George Wiedeman, a pioneer rancher and businessman, was a partner in the Montana Hardware Co., and assisted in the organization of several businesses, including the Lewistown Brick and Tile Co. As a result of this venture, the 2 1/2 story Wiedeman home, which was designed by C. E. Bell, was given a veneer of the dark red, local brick in 1915. Weymouth D. Symmes, who became owner of the Power Merchantile Co. and Mayor of Lewistown, and John D. Waite were next to build in the area. Waite was a pioneer sheep rancher, banker and senator. The Symmes residence was designed by the local firm of Wasmansdorff and Eastman and the Waite residence was designed by Harry W. Jones of Minneapolis, Minn. Built in 1909, the residences well illustrate the preferred method of construction for the period, utilizing handout sandstone in construction of the first floor only.

Fred Warren, also a sheep rancher, banker and businessman, built his unique home, between the Wiedeman and Symmes residences in 1915. The high style brick E.G. Swietzer residence, built in 1919 is a showpiece in the district. "Swietzer's" department store was located in the Crowley Block. About the same time, the T.T. Taylor residence was built. Taylor began his career in Lewistown with the Bank of Fergus Co. in 1908. All of these men played an important role in the development of Lewistown and Fergus County and their homes stand as visible signs of the prosperity of the period.
From the NRHP Nomination Form

Photo goes Here
Swietzer House - "Showpiece" of the District

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