German immigrant Anton Becker had great faith in Hardin’s future. Becker bought this lot on May 30, 1907, the day town lots went on sale. He soon constructed a two-story brick building, in front of which he installed Hardin’s first cement sidewalk. He and his wife, Katie, and their six children lived upstairs; downstairs was Becker’s Montana Saloon. In 1917, the Beckers hired Billings architect Curtis Oehme to convert the saloon into a hotel, adding a third story and extending the entire building to the alley. Oehme’s design drew attention to the hotel’s canted entrance through a square tower decorated with pressed metal, a metal roof, and an ornamental flagpole. According to the Hardin Tribune, the hotel, which cost $60,000 to build, included “a large lobby on each of the three floors, a barroom, dining room, kitchen and parlor … [and] thirty-eight handsomely furnished rooms, some of them en suite with private bath.” Ghost signs on the west and north walls still advertise rooms for “$1 up” and “$1.50 up,” respectively. Although Anton died in 1920, the hotel remained in the Becker family until 1954.



200 North Center, Hardin, Montana ~ private