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HISTORY & PREHISTORY

Dress Shop

Dress Shop

It is apparent that this little building is an original dating from 1863. The log walls were later covered with board and batten (perhaps when the Chinese laundry, next door, was torn down in approximately 1880). Some of the early owners were Jacob Simpson, S. L. Simpson and Augustus Griffith. All were blacksmiths by trade but the building long has been a residence. The interesting bay window dates from this earlier time.

Dress Shop

The dress shop, displayed inside, represents a typical occupation for women in the nineteenth century and could well have been practiced by one of the blacksmith's wives. Few people owned sewing machines before 1890 and most ladies depended upon the local dressmaker for their apparel.

Dress Shop

From about 1870 to 1900 and shortly afterward, Julius Kramer and, later, Fredrick Kramer operated a saddlery in this location and probably had their living quarters in the rear.

When Charles Bovey first came to Virginia City, a carpenter named Fred Weingart was living here. One day Charles was trying to get some new windows made for another building and Fred asked if he would also get a certain size picture window made for him. Charles asked what it was for and Fred explained how he intended to replace the old bay window in the front of the old house. Charlie, in order to preserve this unique feature of the old house, traded Fred a house with a bathroom (one of the few in town) for this building and others in the area. Fred said later, "I sure got the better of you in that trade." Charlie replied, "It's a wonderful thing when two people can make a trade and each thinks he got the better of the deal."

Special acknowledgements to: John D. Ellingsen, John N. DeHaas, Tony Dalich, and Ken Sievert, Tom Cook and Ellen Baumler of the Montana Historical Society.

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