From the Library Historical Archives: “The Majestic” and “The Mint” by Nancy Watts

The “Majestic” (VFW and now Lewistown Realty) at 111 4th Avenue South was built in 1902. Ora Bennett was the owner. Its original use was for the “Majestic Saloon and Bowling Alley.”

“In June of 1914, Ora Bennett was erecting a new business block [now “The Mint” at 113 4th Ave South] expanding from the original stone building [the Majestic] to the corner of Janeaux St. and 4th Ave. The stone structure was given a new brick face to match the addition.” (Montana Historical and Architectural Inventory site #10-Sievert).

“The Majestic”:

“Ora Bennett will commence building operations on a fine stone building on Fourth avenue this week and the structure will be completed as soon as possible. It has already been leased to Richard Young and A.N. Weydert for saloon purposes for a period of five years and will be fitted up regardless of expense. The bowling alleys will be placed in the building and a set of first-class bar fixtures, manufactured by the Brunswick, Balke, Callender Co., will be installed.” (“Fergus County Argus,” April 9, 1902).

“Young and Weydert have very appropriately named their new bowling alley and buffet on Fourth avenue, “The Majestic,” and it is certainly going to be the swellest buffet in the city. This week the elegant furnishings are being placed and it is confidently anticipated that all will be in readiness for an opening early next week. The alleys are of the latest improved pattern and no expense has been spared to make it an attractive resort for gentlemen. Only high-class trade will be solicited and the character of the proprietors insures good order and fair treatment. In the decorations as well as the furnishings, very excellent taste is manifest and the lighting will be by large arc lights casting a brilliant sparkle upon the handsome furnishings. It is also announced that Alex Morin will this week commenced the erection of a 20 x 90 frame structure on Janeaux street… which has been leased by Young and Weydert…. In this building will be placed two fine bowling alleys for the exclusive use of ladies and their invited guests. No liquor will be sold in the building or adjoining, but parlors may possibly be provided for the luxuries of soda water and ice cream. This building will be delicately and tastefully finished in the interior, the floors will be carpeted, comfortable seats… In cities bowling is a healthful and popular sport for the ladies and as Lewistown takes upon itself citified airs an alley for the ladies an appropriate acquisition.” (“Fergus County Argus,” July 16, 1902).

“The grand opening of the majestic bowling parlors and buffet will be held Saturday. The management has delayed the announcement until they were certain all would be in readiness…From 2:00 to 4:00 Saturday afternoon the Majestic will be open to the ladies only.” (“Fergus County Argus,” July 23, 1902).

“The Magestic” was opened to the public last Saturday and a large number accepted the invitation of the proprietors, Young and Weydert…,” (“Fergus County Argus,” July 30, 1902).

“On Fourth avenue O. E. Bennett erected the “Majestic” occupied by Young and Weydert with bowling alley and sample room. This is a stone structure 32 by 90 and handsomely fitted. Its cost was $4500.” (“Fergus County Argus,” Dec 10, 1902).

“The Mint”:

“Ora Bennett will get work under way on the new business block to be erected by him at the corner of Fourth avenue and Janeaux street without delay. The frame building on the site, now occupied by the Lewistown club, will be torn down immediately.” (“Lewistown Democrat News,” June 18, 1914).

“…Ora Bennett finished the addition to his business block at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Janeaux Street in 1914 [113 4th Ave South]. The new addition, partitioned for three businesses, saw many changes over the next few years, until Doran Auto Co., Inc. took over the entire space, including 111 Fourth Avenue South, to show, service and repair Dodge Bros. motor vehicles and Graham Bros. trucks in 1925.” (Montana Historical and Architectural Inventory site #11-Sievert).

The “Majestic Saloon and Bowling Alley” (left) built in 1902 and the “The Mint” (right)
was built in 1914 was a plumbing shop and later became “The Mint”.
The brick front on both buildings was put on when the “Mint” was built in 1914.

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