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FIRST - Masonry Structure in Fromberg, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 45° 23.514 W 108° 54.529
12T E 663689 N 5028614
Quick Description: While known to the National Register as the IOOF Hall and Fromberg Co-operative Mercantile Building, today it is neither.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 2/26/2018 4:25:22 PM
Waymark Code: WMXTVK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member jhuoni
Views: 2

Long Description:
Built and financed in 1906 by the Odd Fellows of Fromberg, the two storey brick building immediately became the IOOF Hall upstairs while the downstairs was rented to the Fromberg Co-operative Mercantile for use as a department store. This was the first building in Fromberg to be built of masonry, in this case bricks and mortar. Owned by the patrons of the co-op, its profits were divided among them according to the dollar value of purchases made. The co-op folded in 1911.

The first masonry building in Fromberg, the hall was built by John Gibson, a local contractor, with little money wasted on decoration and embellishment, the only real decoration being brick corbelling at the cornice on the two street sides of the building, serving as cornice brackets, modillions or dentils, depending on one's paradigm. As well, a concrete medallion is inset at the center of the front parapet, just below the cornice, holding metal figures "IOOF," "1906," and the Odd Fellows emblem.

The Odd Fellows themselves were only active for about 20 years, after which the building's fate is unknown until 1964, when the post office moved in, remaining there today.

IOOF Hall and Fromberg Co-operative Mercantile The building represents the first use of masonry construction in Fromberg and is the most substantial and architecturally sophisticated building ever to grace the town's main street. It apparently was one of Gibson's first construction projects in Fromberg and the only commercial building remaining in town that has been clearly documented as his work. Gibson later achieved prominence in the early 1910s for manufacturing concrete products for a variety of construction purposes.

The I.O.O.F. Hall and Fromberg Co-operative Mercantile Building is located in Fromberg, Montana, a small rural community in the south central portion of the state. The building prominently stands at the west end of the downtown, occupying the northwest corner of W. River Street and Montana Avenue. It faces south onto W. River Street.

Constructed in 1906, the rectangular-shaped, two-story building rests on a concrete foundation, has brick walls laid in English bond, and is topped by a flat roof. Brick parapets with concrete coping rise above the roof on the front and side elevations. Parapets on the front and west sides are flat and feature a corbeled cornice; the east side parapet has four elongated steps. A concrete medallion is inset at the center of the front parapet, just below the cornice. The medallion holds metal figures "IOOF," "1906," and the Odd Fellows emblem. Door openings have segmental arch lintels. Two wood paneled doors are located on the upper level of the east wall towards the north end; neither is accessible. Door openings at ground level on the north and west sides have been altered with modern slab doors. Window openings are accented by sandstone sills and segmental arch lintels, and hold one-over-one, double-hung wood sash. The upper level of the building has single windows; two paired windows are located at lower level on the north wall.

The storefront of the building originally featured a recessed central entry and large display windows with a transom on the south side towards W. River Street; the windows wrapped a few feet around the west wall along Montana Avenue. When the U.S. Post Office moved into the building in 1964, the storefront was replaced with smaller windows on the south and brick infill.
From the NRHP Registration Form

Photo goes Here

Type of documentation of superlative status: NRHP Registration Form

Location of coordinates: At the building

Web Site: [Web Link]

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