Before the arrival of the railroad, in 1902, Downtown Emmett was a few board and batten buildings west of present West Main St. The brick buildings we see today seem to have started with the Russell Hotel and the Dewey Saloon across the street and moved east. Here is a brief history of some of those historic brick buildings.

1. Bank of Emmett Building with commercial spaces, 1906. ground floor houses the bank a soda fountain that was also the bus station (Emmett to Boise Stage) and a drug store. Upstairs was a law and doctor offices and the town library - from 1925 to 1957. The building was razed in 1972 for the First Security Bank. Barber shop and cobble in half of basement.

2. Blackman Building, 1906 - historical marker. Upstairs - Emmett Hotel. It had the reputation as a hotel for "working girls." Downstairs Gamage Barber Shop to the east. It boasted the first bath tubs is town. Twenty-five cents for a tub of hot water. Rees' Confectionary. 1930's the Cherry Blossom.

3. Brunswick Pool Hall and Cigar Store, about 1910. Upstairs was night club at one time, various organizations and union hall. (ghost art in alley)

4. Commercial building on corner, about 1910 - Original site of Emmettsville first butcher shop, 1884. East section was Helfert Jewelry Store. Dry cleaner for many years. Corner space held any number of businesses, including the Basque Pool Hall. (ic) ghost art in alley.

5. Russell Hotel, 1904. Our only 3-story building. Due to a fire in 1975 the top floor was removed and rest of rooms converted into apartments. Pool hall and "fine dining room" with white table linen and silver napkin rings. The hotel catered to important railroad passengers and drummers ( traveling salesmen)

6. Bane Building, 1905 (historical marker) It was a feed and seed store for many years. Several other businesses were here, including our only radio station and an antique store. The restored upstairs was a hotel popular with the Basque sheepherders, miners from Pearl. Also the Modern Woodsman meeting hall.

7. Commercial building, before 1908, was the Emmett Steam Laundry, a restaurant; Brookings Hardware was here for many years with living quarters upstairs and a number of other enterprises.

a. Little Land and Livestock, 1915.

(The Wardwell building was in the vacant lot across the street from the beverage store. The hall was upstairs, as the ground floor was for commercial use.)

(eb) Eddy's Bakery "Ghost Art" on wall west side of former Ron Rekow's Barber Shop. This section of store fronts built in 1930's.

8. Dewey Building, 1901 - historical marker. First housed the Dewey Saloon. First Corner Grocery for many years. Number of other business have followed.

9. McNish Building, 1902 - historical marker. Corner was the First National Bank of Emmett. No longer did folks have to take two days to bank in Caldwell. Center section, McNish's General Store and several other retail stores. East end of building was the post office from 1902 - 1959 when it was moved to 118 N. Hayes Ave.

10. Ideal Theater, 1916. It was an "up to date" design and highly praised. The exterior was restored in 2007.

11. Stewart Building - 1904 - built for the Stewart/Burkhart Butcher Shop. Second floor is an apartment. Many stores have been in this space.

12. Bowman Memorial Park ("Pioneer Park," "Huskie Park") - original site of the first Methodist Church in 1886. The basement for a 3-floor hotel was started, to rival the Russell with a ball room. Prohibition halted the dream. 1939 a 2-story retail store was finished for C.C. Anderson's Golden Rule Department Store. President Fountain on the west end. It was Dale's Appliance when it burned out in 2002.

13. Powell Building, 1904 - historical marker - Brown & Reilly Grocery and Hardware filled the ground floor for many years. Pop's Cigar Store also for a long time. Royal Order of Moose Lodge upstairs. Addition on back had a dinner club upstairs with the kitchen on the ground floor. It had a dumb waiter. That section burned.

b. Recreation Center was Farber's Five and Dime

c. Computaters - J C Penney's - know for the pneumatic tube to the bookkeeper on second floor.

d. Safeway where Joe Albertson was a bagboy. (recently, former Idaho Youth Ranch Thrift Store).

14. IOOF Hall, 1903. Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge upstairs. Ground floor many uses from the Gem County offices from 1920 - 1939, 2nd Corner Grocery store, law offices, and retail. Silent movies were shown until the theater was built. West side mainly remembered as Sander's Fountain and Alma's Cafe.

15. Masonic Hall, 1917 - Masonic Lodge still upstairs. "the lower floor will be occupied by M. Alexander, Boise, present chief executive of the state." "Evening Capital News," Apr. 15, 1917. Later, ground floor many retail stores.

e. Emmett Index

f. E. E. Hunt General store - 1905

g. Karr Furniture Store

h. First Golden Rule

16. Monroe Building, 1905 - historical marker. Law office and medical offices upstairs. Wide variety of retail on ground floor from grocery, drug store, electrical supply and more.

1883-1885, Emmettsville by Dorothy Welberg     detail-east    detail-west

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