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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Forsyth in Rosebud County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Merchant Bank

Forsyth Main Street Historic District

 
 
Merchant Bank Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
1. Merchant Bank Marker
Inscription.  Pioneer businessman Thomas Alexander founded Forsyth’s first bank in 1892. In 1898, he built this ashlar stone bank building with material quarried within a mile of Forsyth. Three small panels on the cornice commemorate the year of construction and the building’s original function. Although stone was widely used for foundations, Merchant’s Bank is one of the few Forsyth buildings built completely of stone. Large, plate-glass commercial windows and an inset entryway originally marked the street level façade. Inside, “commodious vaults of stone and steel” helped safeguard deposits from theft or fire. Capitalized at $12,000 in 1900, Merchant’s Bank was a small bank even for its day. Nevertheless, it remained Forsyth’s only bank until 1901. By 1903, the bank had moved, and two storefronts, occupied by a barbershop and a carpentry/tin shop, shared this space. Not long after, J. Z. Northway opened a butcher shop here, where he sold meat and fresh sausage, which he manufactured in the circa 1910 rear brick addition. A community institution, the Forsyth Meat Market operated on Main Street into the 1930s.
 
Erected by
Former Merchant Bank and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
2. Former Merchant Bank and Marker
Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 46° 15.957′ N, 106° 40.699′ W. Marker is in Forsyth, Montana, in Rosebud County. Marker is on Main Street near 10th Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 971 Main Street, Forsyth MT 59327, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Roxy Theatre (a few steps from this marker); 933 Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Forsyth Main Street Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Vananda State Bank Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Forsyth, MT (within shouting distance of this marker); Masonic Temple (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Choisser Block (about 300 feet away); Kennedy-Fletcher Block (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Forsyth.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 16, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 23 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 16, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Feb. 25, 2021