112 North Main Street

Livingston Commercial Historic District

Fire destroyed the first commercial building on this lot in 1886, but owner Walter Ayrault quickly invested $1,000 to replace it. In 1901, the Northern Pacific Railroad expanded its repair shops, ensuring Livingston’s growth; the next year, C. H. Hefferlin purchased the one-story business block. Sometime between 1910 and 1918, Hefferlin replaced the wood-frame building with a new brick commercial block; around the same time, his father, who was also a real estate developer, constructed the building’s near twin two doors down. A pair of recessed panels above the windows offers room to advertise two separate businesses. However, a single business—usually an eatery—occupied this entire structure after 1922. Many of the restaurants’ owners were immigrants. They included Thomas McCarthy (Ireland), Matsutaro “Thomas” Miyagishima (Japan), George D. Pavelis (Greece), and Louie Do Jum (China). Cities encouraged brick and stone construction as a fire prevention measure, but it wasn’t always successful. A 2003 fire destroyed all but the building’s newly restored façade, which today still looks much as it did in the 1920s, when customers patronized the Busy Bee Cafe.

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112 North Main Street, Livingston, Montana ~ Private