The U.S. Forest Service sent Claude W. Griffen to Thompson Falls in 1911 to head its expanding local operations. Griffen held the position of Supervisor to the Cabinet National Forest until 1816-1917. In 1912, respected local contractor/carpenter Walter McCurdy, who also served as an alderman for the district, built this Bungalow style home for the Griffen family. Like his fellow carpenter/contractors of the period in Thompson Falls, McCurdy drew his plans from a pattern book, utilizing the characteristics of this enormously popular style: oversized brackets under a gable roof, exposed rafter ends, full-width front porch, narrow lap siding, and wood shingles. The interior boasts high ceilings, built-in cabinets with leaded glass, interior double doors, and a window seat. These elegant touches reveal McCurdy’s fine craftsmanship and Griffen’s discriminating taste. The residence remained in the Griffen family until 1942 when it was purchased by Orin Kendall. Kendall served as Sanders County Superintendent of Schools from 1946 to 1968, in the state legislature, and as mayor of Thompson Falls. A few additions and changes have slightly altered its 1912 appearance, but this appealing home is today one of Thompson Falls’ best-preserved examples of early-twentieth-century residential construction.


Griffen House
Griffen House Griffen House (PAc 91-51 Thompson Falls R02 F28). Front to side view of the house, facing northwest near the corner of North Gallatin Street and West Ogden Avenue. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Oct. 1984


205 North Gallatin Street, Thompson Falls, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Griffen House,” Historic Montana, accessed July 12, 2024,