“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Whitefish in Flathead County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

H.J. Hotel, Blacksmith

(Block 44; Lots 13 & 14)

— Historical Walking Tour of Whitefish, Montana —

H.J. Hotel, Blacksmith Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 21, 2020
1. H.J. Hotel, Blacksmith Marker
This architecturally unremarkable building has a colorful history, having gone from an early-20th-century blacksmith shop to an early-21st-century liquor store, with several other incarnations along the way.

Built of locally manufactured concrete blocks in about 1920, it was used by Harry Hotel, the first owner, to shoe horses and create decorative iron work; his son, Fred, followed him in the business.

In the 1940s, with automobiles now far more important than horses, Art Harlow bought the building and transformed it into Harlow-Beck Chevrolet. The automobile agency operated here from 1946 to 1952, when it moved to more expansive quarters at the north end of Central Avenue.

Don Swisher purchased this building from Harlow and rented it to the National Guard as an armory from 1952 to 1959. After the Guard moved to its own permanent armory, Swisher sold the building to the Raymond Martin family, who remodeled it into Whitefish's first laundromat (and later added dry cleaning). It remained a laundromat after Bill and Peg Moir bought the building in 1976. Both the Martins and the Moirs lived in an apartment at the back

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of the building during their tenures there.

The Moirs sold the building, still a laundromat, to Chuck Bronson in 1987, and a beauty shop subsequently opened in the rear of the building.

In 2003, after extensive remodeling, the venerable structure reopened in modern dress as the Whitefish Liquor Store.
Erected by Stumptown Historical Society and Whitefish Community Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 48° 24.585′ N, 114° 20.283′ W. Marker is in Whitefish, Montana, in Flathead County. Marker is at the intersection of Baker Avenue and East 3rd Street, on the right when traveling north on Baker Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 239 Baker Avenue, Whitefish MT 59937, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Presbyterian Church of Whitefish (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Former Site of 1st National Bank Building (about 400 feet away); Duncan Samson Block (about 400 feet away); Orpheum Theatre Building (about 400 feet away); Haines Drugs (about 500 feet away); Pastime Pool Hall (about 500 feet away); Robinson Building (about 500 feet away); Hori Cafe Building (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Whitefish.

H.J. Hotel, Blacksmith Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 21, 2020
2. H.J. Hotel, Blacksmith Marker
The marker is between the two entrances.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 14, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 84 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 14, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Sep. 28, 2023