When the railroad bypassed Demersville in 1891, many businessmen loaded their buildings onto log rollers, hauling them three miles to the newly platted community of Kalispell. This lot became home to a two-story Demersville building, occupied first…

A stuccoed diamond pattern tops this circa 1891 building, masking a classic, wooden false front. The false front disguised a gable roof, making the frontier building appear more sophisticated than it actually was. Later rear additions expanded…

A confectionery sold candy from a one-story building here in 1892. In 1901, the Theo Hamm Brewing Company replaced the small frame structure with this highly fashionable business block. The second story features a stamped metal façade designed to…

A unified second-story façade with distinct first-floor storefronts reflects the unique history of this business block. George McMahon paid $4,000 to have the building’s southern (left) half constructed in 1901 for his undertaking business. McMahon…

Montgomery Ward opened its Kalispell store on July 27, 1929, just three months before the stock market crash that launched the Great Depression. Kalispell architect Fred Brinkman took inspiration from the Gothic style for his design of the…

In 1892, a year after the Great Northern Railway established Kalispell, a stone foundation stood on this corner. Construction soon stalled, however, likely a casualty of the national economic depression known as the Panic of 1893. An 1894 map shows…

The opening of this grand opera house, built by John McIntosh in 1896, confirmed Kalispell’s growing regional importance. Traveling theatrical groups brought elaborate scenery that transformed the second-floor theater. When one early performance of…

W. R. Twining, a Philadelphia construction superintendent newly arrived in Kalispell, collaborated with brother-in-law E. C. Knight on this brick business block in 1908. A reporter noted in June that “Jack Stahl, one of the swiftest men with a…

Running water, wake-up calls, and doors with locks were just a few of the amenities travelers could expect in this classy and expensive $2-a-night hotel, which opened in 1912. Kalispell architect Marion Riffo designed the three-story landmark built…

Kalispell already boasted its fair share of saloons when August Heller opened this downtown establishment in 1900. Cream and mottled brick with a “reverse stair step” cornice—the hallmark of local brick masons Jack, Art, and Ed Stahl—made the Heller…