The Iona Cafe Building was built in 1914, becoming the Iona in 1915. Though the building only housed the Iona Bakery and Cafe for two years, with the building becoming the State Cafe in 1917, it still bears the name in tilework in the entryway.
A 1979 photo, with the building still bearing signage from its time as the State Cafe, from the Historic American Buildings Survey. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/mt0040.photos.101070p/
In 1971-1972, the transom windows on the second floor and the right side door (now gone, but visible in the 1979 photo) were painted by Dan G. Buller, then owner of the State and resident of the apartment above. Buller died in 1973 and the cafe closed. The cafe was opened in 1905 by his father, George Buller on East Park Street before moving to this location at 16 S. Main.
The panels read:
“The Big Sky Country Butte Montana Hello! Hello! Hello! to all the tourists and visitors welcome to our beautiful city Butte where the best Americans is Butte has the richest hill and the best copper on earth – finished July 11, 1972”
“Big Sky Country Butte Montana – Wonderful W-ful W-ful to have visitors from all over the American Adn from all over the world to visit our best city of America Butte”
“Big Sky Country Butte Montana Attention please when the visitors are visiting the famous state of Montana our capital the Helena and our city the Butte they are visiting the best places in America”
The door, which is no longer on the building, but is visible in the 1979 photos, read,
“Butte Has the Best People in American Butte has the best copper in the world Butte has the largest pit in the world Butte has the best and the richest hill on earth Big Sky Country Butte Mont 20-1/2 So. Main Street Butte Montana 59701 Mail Box Birth place the best place Always! Butte is the best city in American Butte best street is the South Main Street July 21 1971 Designed Fixed by Dan G. Buller.
A really incredible (though very damaged) interior, complete with enclosed booths for ladies.
Those Buttonians sure are a proud bunch of people! Did you show this place on your live stream? It’s awesome!