Fairmont Creamery

South Butte’s industrial character developed quickly after 1881 as commercial foundries, warehouses, and mills located close to the railroad tracks. Chinese immigrant Sam Sing ran a laundry business on this corner from 1899 to 1906.

In 1910, the Fairmont Creamery Company built this industrial building. Like other timber-frame warehouses nearby, it had post and beam framing to support heavy loads. However, its brick walls, refrigerated rooms, four-ton ice machine, and concrete loading platform were thoroughly modern. Fairmont Creamery stored and shipped butter, cream, cheese, eggs, and meat to regional retail grocers. The company’s slogan for Blue Ribbon Butter encouraged truth in advertising, stating “The careful housewife weighs the butter, not the package.” It was ironic then in 1916, that the city health department investigated Fairmont’s operation, finding their Jersey brand butter weighed less than the advertised one pound. Beloved Butte physician Dr. Hugh McDonald purchased the building in 1923 and leased it to various fruit, storage, and moving companies. Mid-Central Produce Company, bought the building in 1935. They sold various dairy products and shipped frozen holiday turkeys around the state until 1959.

Images

701 South Arizona Street
701 South Arizona Street Source: 1959 Tax Assessment Card, Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives

Location

701 So. Arizona Ave

Metadata

Montana Historical Society, “Fairmont Creamery,” Story of Butte, accessed February 22, 2024, https://storyofbutte.org/items/show/3476.