We share Montana's story through our resources: art, books, artifacts, photos, and even buildings we've helped preserve.
The elaborate corbelling on the front façade and the parapet above the transom evoke the glory days of this building, which long provided recreation for Hardin residents. German immigrant Anton Becker, owner of the hotel next door, constructed the one-story building in 1910, only three years after Hardin was founded.
The town’s earliest map shows the building as a dance hall, but by 1911, the brick structure housed the Pioneer Pool Parlor. Popular Hardin barber Matt Larkin shared the space from 1912 to 1918. In 1918, pool hall owner James Reid constructed a forty-foot addition at the back of the building and installed a double bowling alley.
In the 1920s, in response to golf’s rising popularity, owners installed a nine-hole indoor golf course with a sand green. In later years, the space served as a meat market, grocery store, and then the Pastime Café. The plate glass storefront, glass block transom, and aluminum awnings are later modifications, but the top of the building remains as it was during Hardin’s boom years.
Cover image: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana.