University Area Historic District
Christopher P. Higgins, a Missoula founder, bought 160 acres in 1887 in this area now known as the Montana Addition. He died in 1889 before the southside building boom, but in his will Higgins directed his heirs to complete unfinished housing constructed on speculation. In 1893, this house—completed circa 1892—and the unimproved lot next door sold for $3,000, nearly twice what Higgins had paid for the entire quarter section six years before. Dr. William Buchanan Parsons purchased the property in 1898. The doctor, a leading surgeon and partner in the Parsons and Brown Hospital, cared for patients in far-flung communities and the Flathead Indian reservation. From 1929 to the 1960s, the family of Northern Pacific foreman Claude Marcyes resided in the home. Marcyes served as longtime historian for the Montana Pioneer Society. The regal Queen Anne style residence features gables, patterned chimneys, and a grand tower-like dormer. Spindlework, decorative eave brackets, and fish-scale shingles further embellish this “painted lady.” In 1995, the beautifully maintained neighborhood landmark received a Missoula Historic Preservation Award.