Established in 1910, this is one of Alberton’s earliest businesses. Joe Boileau, a former foreman of the planing mill at Lothrop, moved to the recently platted Alberton and opened a meat market. The original two-story, western false-fronted commercial building features a simple cornice with brackets and is finished in clapboard sheathing with vertical board corner trim. A 1915 addition widened the structure and continued the false-front motif but at a lower elevation. A second addition, lower in height than the previous, occurred before 1925. For many years, the west second floor served as Alberton’s first Masonic hall and provided meeting space for the Masons, Eastern Star, and Odd Fellows. William A. Bestwick purchased the property in 1912 and operated a meat market, grocery store, and frozen foods locker until the late 1950s. Bestwick immigrated from Alstonefield, England, to Canada in 1909, arriving in the Missoula area shortly before coming to Alberton. In 1915, he married Beatrice Eddy and together they raised three children. Committed to civic involvement, Bestwick served as mayor, as deputy stock inspector for the Nine Mile Stockmen’s Association, as county chairman of U.S. Savings Bonds, as Red Cross director, and was a member of the Alberton Masonic Lodge. The double recessed entrance, a unique feature for a single-business facility, the large plate-glass display windows, intact wood frame, and preserved false-front still retain the feel of Milwaukee Road-era commercial architecture.

Images

Map

512 Railroad Avenue, Alberton, Montana ~ Private