State officials turned out on January 21, 1937, for the grand opening of Hamilton’s new telephone system. The event marked the modernization of telecommunications in the Bitterroot Valley. Ivan C. Gustafson owned this property and built the…

A native of Manchester, England, Wynne Roberts came to Hamilton in 1892. He opened a book and stationery store with only $300 in capital and conducted more than $9,000 worth of business his first year selling fruit, crockery, and wallpaper in…

Twenty-three-year-old attorney Robert O’Hara had passed the bar less than a year before he arrived in the Bitterroot in 1890. Working for copper king Marcus Daly, he served as town site agent for the Bitter Root Development Company. He is…

Marcus Daly began construction of Hamilton's water system in 1896, making indoor plumbing possible for local residents. Hot and cold running water and bathrooms in homes—found in larger cities by the 1860s—did not become commonplace until the…

“No year has favored the business section like 1910. And best of all, the buildings are of a better class than last year,” enthused the Ravalli Republic. Part of this boom, the First National Bank building replaced two wooden structures that…

Town halls originated in twelfth-century Italy, where bells were rung to call public assemblies. Missoula architect A. J. Gibson’s city hall design references this history. Allusions to Italy include such Italian Renaissance features as a…

Decorative brickwork ornaments this two-story Western Commercial style building constructed for jeweler Frank L. Burns. The Canadian-born Burns came to Hamilton in 1894, four years after the town’s founding. He originally ran his business from a…