Heller Building

Kalispell already boasted its fair share of saloons when August Heller opened this downtown establishment in 1900. Cream and mottled brick with a “reverse stair step” cornice—the hallmark of local brick masons Jack, Art, and Ed Stahl—made the Heller Saloon an impressive business. Heller traveled to Chicago for interior fittings, added a hot water boiler in 1902, Kalispell’s first cement sidewalk in 1904, and a Stubber’s gas lighting system in 1907. Spittoons on the floor, imported liquors, back room poker games, and rumors of loose women upstairs kept a rough-and-tumble clientele entertained. So famous was Heller’s Saloon that temperance crusading bar-smasher Carrie Nation delivered her gospel message in front of the building in 1910, exchanging heated words with proprietor Heller. During Prohibition, John Gus Thompson—Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher in the first World Series in 1903—moved his pool hall here. Later, the Pastime Bar offered fishing tackle, beer, tobacco, and hot meals. The Pastime closed in 1988. In 2005, a fire in an adjacent building prompted a complete restoration of the Heller building, which now accommodates commercial and office space.

Images

Heller Building, front view

Heller Building, front view

Photographer's notation Heller Building Kalispell Flathead County Montana Ken Williams, Photographer Negs. On file with Ken Williams East Elevation November 1990 b&w print | Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana | Creator: Ken Williams, photographer View File Details Page

Heller Building, interior

Heller Building, interior

Pass time Bar [sic] looking east on interior August 1988 (verso) b&w print | Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana | Creator: Unidentified photographer View File Details Page

Main Street, Kalispell, streetview.

Main Street, Kalispell, streetview.

View of Wilson's clothing and dry goods store on Main St., looking north, Kalispell, Montana. Catalog #948-813 | Source: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, Montana | Creator: Photographer unidentified View File Details Page

Street Address:

140 South Main Street, Kalispell, Montana [map]

Cite this Page:

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Heller Building,” Explore Big – Montana's Historic Places, accessed April 23, 2017, http://explorebig.org/items/show/467.

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