Purnell Rental Property

East Side Historic District

Kalispell’s growing early-twentieth-century population demanded affordable housing, and local investors responded by building numerous rental homes. New balloon-framing techniques and pre-milled, railroad-shipped lumber made this Folk Victorian style, gable-front-and-wing house both desirable and affordable. Originally, it featured decorative shingles in the gable end, a full-width front porch, and a small porch on the south side of the rear wing. The home’s cutaway front bay still retains its decorative window hoods and ball finials, a reminder that applied decoration was ubiquitous even on investment properties. Civil War veteran and pioneer Flathead farmer Thomas Collins owned the home between 1903 and 1907. Collins and his wife Fannie rented rooms and may have lived here in the winter. Renters Gaylord and Mary Wooster occupied the house from 1909 to 1910 and William and Grace French lived here from about 1911 to 1915. Grace taught music lessons and William, with his brother Fred, operated the American Steam Laundry on Main Street. Samuel J. Purnell, office manager at the Equity Supply Co., owned and rented out the house between 1919 and 1935.


135 3rd Avenue East, Kalispell, MT ~ private