Amazing History and People
In December 1916, Harry E. Andrus sold his successful sheep ranch near Dell, Montana, then invested his money in a venture that many felt the growing city of Dillon needed to attract visitors and investments: a high-class hotel. Andrus provided Dillon a beautiful three-story hotel within walking distance of Dillon's bustling train station, sparing no expense to build a quality hostelry for Dillon. The architectural form and detailing of the hotel generated great pride in the community. At the time it was constructed, the hotel cost a whopping $165,000. The Andrus Hotel is an ornate three-story building sporting elements of the Renaissance Revival style with a ground floor designed to hold businesses that augmented the hotel's importance to the city's commercial district. On the occasion of the hotel's opening in February 1918, the Dillon Tribute wrote that the owner, Harry E. Andrus gave "to Dillon, her people and her visitors one of the finest, most modern and best-equipped hotels in the entire Northwest." The hotel included sixty guest rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a billiard parlor, and a lobby large enough to host dances and other community celebrations.
Pharaoh, not pictured, was a 190lb Great Dane that had his own chair in the Andrus Lobby. He was the hotel bellhop who would carry guests’ suitcases one block from the railroad terminal to the Hotel.
Today, The Andrus Hotel is once again the boutique hotel that was imagined by Harry E. Andrus over one hundred years ago - his legacy lives on.