George May and brother Albert entered the sheep and cattle business here in 1892, leasing Fort Owen where George lived and where his children were born. As the business succeeded, he continued to purchase land, including in 1899 the plot where this home stands. The brothers’ Bitter Root Livestock Company owned 3,000 acres of land, on which it ran 20,000 sheep and 500 cattle. In 1900, along with a third brother, William Harry May, the Mays organized the Stevensville Mercantile Company. In less than a decade it became one of Western Montana’s largest businesses. For its building—the largest in Stevensville—as well as his own home, George May hired prominent Missoula architect A. J. Gibson (designer of the Missoula County courthouse among many other buildings). The May home was constructed in 1909. Its fine interior oak woodwork is especially notable, for the rancher-merchant did it himself. At age sixteen in his native Canada, he had apprenticed as a cabinetmaker. Although his fortune came from other endeavors, George May never forgot his craft.

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100 Park Avenue, Stevensville, Montana ~ Private