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Montana Tavern - Lewistown Central Business Historic District - Lewistown, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 47° 03.965 W 109° 25.501
12T E 619590 N 5213711
Quick Description: Though it encountered a few bumps in the road, including delays in delivery of materials, the Mackey Building finally became whole in November of 1911.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 2/25/2018 7:44:36 PM
Waymark Code: WMXTPF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TerraViators
Views: 0

Long Description:
Built in 1911 by Thomas H. Mackey, what later became known as the Montana Tavern was built on a creek. Not beside a creek, but right over Spring Creek. There is still a viewing hole in the tavern's floor through which one may watch the creek flow by under their feet. The original owner allegedly built the hole so he could fish while he worked.

Originally housing a billiard parlour and a saloon on the ground floor, with the Mackey Rooming House upstairs, in 1914 the "Hub Clothing" store moved into 202½, moved out in 1916 and moved in again in 1918, this time replacing the "Blue Goose Saloon" when it was forced out of business by prohibition.

When, after the repeal of prohibition, the Montana Tavern opened in the Mackey Building it added the large neon sign that still adorns the building. It still shines brightly, with all systems still "GO" and the tavern still serves cold ones on a hot day.

Thomas Mackey seems to have had a bit of a bumpy beginning with this building, with a lawsuit and a work stoppage ordered before construction got beyond the foundation. Since they could be a bit enlightening, I've included a few news snippets further below. It was finally reported on November 11th that the building was nearly complete and tenants would be moving in shortly.

Building Permits Granted

Fergus County Democrat | April 25, 1911, Page 1

O. F. Wasmansdorff presented the plans for the new Mackey building to be constructed of native stone and brick just across the street from the proposed Brooks building. The Mackey building will extend all the way across the creek and will be a handsome structure. This permit was also granted.
From the Fergus County Democrat

Contract for Mackey Building.

Fergus County Democrat | May 16, 1911, Page 1
T. H. Mackey this morning let the contract for the erection of a fine, modern, two-story business block on his property on Main street, near Second avenue, to Frank Pierce. Work is to start immediately. The building will be of steel construction, with a frontage of fifty feet on Main street by ninety feet deep. The ground floors will be devoted to store purposes, while the upper floor will be cut up into offices. The building is to be completed and ready for occupancy this year. It will be a very decided improvement to the business district.
From the Fergus County Democrat


Thomas G. Heldahl Brings Suit Against T. H. Mackey to Recover Five Thousand Dollars Damages
Alleged Breach of Contract

Fergus County Democrat | June 06, 1911, Page 1
Thomas G. Heldahl and others have brought suit in the district court against Thomas H. Mackey, alleging that on May 13 they entered into a contract with the defendant to erect the Mackey building on Main street, the price agreed upon being $19,800; that on May 15 they notified the defendant that they were ready to go ahead with the work, but that Mr. Mackey refused to allow them to do so and has given the contract to other parties. Damages in the sum of $5,000 are asked. DeKalb & Mettler and E. G. Worden are the plaintiffs' attorneys.
From the Fergus County Democrat

Stop Work on Mackey Building.

Fergus County Democrat | July 11, 1911, Page 1
City Engineer McClean reported that the new Mackey building foundations were not being constructed in conformity with the plans upon which the permit was issued by the city and recommended that the work be stopped until such time as the council could further investigate the matter.

[On October 3rd it was reported that:
The building committee reported that an examination of the Mackey building had been made and that it was going up according to the specifications upon which the permit was granted, as nearly as could be ascertained. A recommendation that the work be allowed to continue was adopted.]
From the Fergus County Democrat

Photo goes Here

Name of business: Montana Tavern

Type of business: Bar/Lounge

Condition of Neon Sign: Hitsville - In good working order

Physical Location:
Lewistown, MT United States

Web Address: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
One picture of sign will suffice. Additional shots - bonus.
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