Petritz Building

115-119 Main Street, Anaconda, MT

Two story brick building built in 1893

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Petritz Building

Photo taken by Richard Doody in September 2018

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Description 

Constructed in 1893 for production of cider, soda and iron water, the Petritz Block and its two-story factory addition is one of many buildings within the district that housed small, one-man manufacturing operations.

John V. Petritz, the namesake of the Petritz Block, made significant contributions to the commercial history of Anaconda. Petritz was born in Austria in 1852, where he was educated and later engaged in the "notions" business (perfumes, lotions, needles, buttons, threads and other small, useful items). In 1873 he emigrated to the United States, initially settling in Chicago, where he peddled notions from a horse and cart for six years. In 1879, he moved to Montana and acquired a clerkship with the firm of Schmidt and Gamer, which operated the large Centennial Brewery in Butte. He later moved into the liquor business, operating a beer depot in Glendale, and a saloon and billiard hall in Walkerville. By 1881, he had earned enough money to purchase a large saloon and hotel on the south side of Butte, which he operated for two years.

In 1883, he became an independent agent for Butte's Centennial Brewery and he moved to Anaconda, where in June he opened a saloon and small liquor business in a tent on Main Street. He soon constructed a frame building on the 10 Block of Main Street and operated a prosperous retail and wholesale liquor business for the Centennial Brewery until 1886, when he decided to go into business for himself as a wholesaler.

Petritz began construction of the brick block at 115-119 Main Street in 1891, and in 1893 added a two storey cider, soda and iron-water factory on the rear. The factory was the first substantial soda factory of its kind and is the only remaining factory from the 1890s that survives in Anaconda. A year later, Petritz purchased a half interest in the Anaconda Brewing Company. He became a manager of this company, which was the leading brewery in Anaconda until Prohibition, and continued to operate his saloon and soda factory in the Petritz Block on Main Street.

Update Log 

  • September 28, 2018: Added by Richard Doody

Sources 

  • Richard Doody