18 1949, Jean and John Martello opened the Richardson Root
Beer franchise "Martello's Drive-Inn" at 1000 N.
Main. They sold out in 1952 to
Gertrude "Gertie" Richeson (1914-2004), and
her husband Bob. Gertie's became a mainstay in Helena for
decades, and she became known as "The Hamburger Queen".
Richeson sold the business, and the "Gertie's" name,
Drive-in looked very much like the illustration in the ad
above. The existing brick structure (now Carlson-Wagonlit
Travel) was opened by new Gertie's Owner Ralph A. Hahn on
May 23, 1962.
Ad for Gertie's
grand openng, April 12 1952.
in a 2001 Independent Record newspaper feature: My
mother cooked a 33-pound turkey every day and a roast and a
great big ham, and I would cook a big kettle of chili and all
of it would be gone by the end of the day. We made everything
ourselves and we dipped our own ice cream no packaged
stuff at our place, not us, course there wasnt any back
An illustration of what the original Gertoe's sign looked like.
closing ad, 1952.
sold out to Ralph A. Hahn about 1961, but her name and reputation
continued for the life of the drive-in.
A. Hahn, 1956
from Gertie's Drive-in, 1960s, with the cryptic legend "Recommended
by Ralph A. Hahn". Hahn (1923-1985) was the owner then;
he also jointly owned the Sky-Hi Drive-in Theatre east of Helena.
Hahn was a real estate broker who had interests in other enterprises
in the Helena and Lincoln areas, including the Hofbrau on Euclid
Opening of the New Gertie's, May 22 1962
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