306 Main Street
The Amoretti Bank -All that is left of this bank building are the stones on the front. Even though the building did not survive the test of time, the business did. Through the years the bank, has many times over, changed locations owners, and names. Presently it is the Bank of the West.
The first bank in Lander was simply known as Amoretti’s Bank. The bank’s true beginnings started in Eugene Amoretti’s store and then moved into the stone building . S. Contant Parks purchased an interest in the bank and it changed to Amoretti and Parks.
Eugene Amoretti, Sr. was a well-educated immigrant from Italy. He was ambitious and had an aptitude for business. Some of his business ventures included mining, mercantile stores, real estate, livestock industry and banking. He was also instrumental in getting the Lander Roller Mill established, owned interest in the Lander Electric and Power Co. and pushed for support to get a railroad into Lander. He was the first Mayor of Lander and served in the legislature.
During Harold Parks’ ( descendant of S. Contant Parks) oral history interview he was asked how Eugene Amoretti, Sr. started the bank. He explained that Mr. Amoretti was running his store and quite often the stockmen would give their money to him for safekeeping.
If they needed a sack of flour, or a side of bacon, or some salt, he would charge them for it. If there was money at the end of the month, he gave it to back them. Finally, someone said, “Well you are in the banking business why don’t you start a bank?” Mr. Amoretti said, “How do you start?” Someone told him to paint a Bank sign on a board and hang it up. Harold Park’s oral history also revealed that the bank did not have a vault; the money was placed in tin cans and buried underneath the store.