We have Scott Loken redoing a bunch of our brickwork on this store this month. He has a historic restoration business in Missoula, Montana. A few years ago, he and his crew repointed a bunch of bricks for the Occidental Hotel, and now they are working on our building. They find out which bricks are bad, what mortar needs replaced, and then they do it. They’ve been here at least 10 hours a day, and sometimes work 7 days a week. And they clean up after themselves! What could be better? The other project they are going to take on is to replace our sandstone sills that are below our windows. The sandstone is in bad shape and needs redone on two sides. I can’t believe that we found someone with the actual skills to do this. It’s going to cost a fortune, so I encourage anyone who is a customer, to consider doing business with us this year, so we can keep on going. I am happy to help keep this building in good shape and so it will hold up for another 100 years. This building was built in 1906. It was Thompkins and June Hardware when it started. Buffalo didn’t have a hardware store, and a couple of people said they would go back east to pick up stuff to start one if the owner of this lot would put in a building. The local newspaper mentioned that this building was going to cost $6000 to build, which was probably quite a lot back then. When I was a child and younger woman, this was the Buffalo Bar. Then Ken Reid remodeled it, and it became “Local Color”, an interior decorating store. Ken has an interest in history, and kept most of it true to its past. When I moved in, in 2001, some changes were made, but it still looks much like it did in 1906. I don’t know what the upstairs looked like it 1906, but it has three small apartments in it now.
This is a picture of the back of the building being worked on. An old brick building collapsed in Missoula, and they cleaned some of those bricks and brought them because they are a color match to our original bricks. Below is a photo of the building when it was a hardware store. The front is the same today except we have cement sidewalks and not wooden ones now. I can see that our neighbor was a saloon.