Rev. George M. and Mary Fisher Home

The Reverend George M. and Mary Fisher built this exemplary Victorian Stick style residence in 1892. It remains one of Kalispell’s few wood-frame houses constructed before 1895. Popular in the late nineteenth century, the Stick style featured varied siding materials, wood trim installed to look like Medieval timber beams, and boxed bay windows. The two-story, V-shaped bay window is a distinctive regional adaption. The house is one of several tangible reflections of the Fishers’ influence. Rev. Fisher arrived from Ohio to western Montana in 1882. He traveled the region, establishing Presbyterian missions in the Bitterroot and Flathead valleys, and, in 1886, married Mary Swaney, an accomplished pianist. The couple purchased government land in what is now Kalispell’s East Side neighborhood in 1887, later selling it for a handsome profit to Charles Conrad’s Kalispell Townsite Company. They used the proceeds to build their home and to finance construction of Kalispell’s original Presbyterian Church. The Fishers raised six children, employed a Chinese cook (despite laws forbidding it), and often gave food and shelter to the Pend d’Oreille and Kootenai people. Rev. Fisher helped build six Presbyterian churches in the Flathead and was also instrumental in establishing Kalispell’s public school system. Before he died in 1934, he wrote in his memoirs, “Through all these fifty years of Sky Piloting, I have worked unceasingly to make life better and happier for men and women of all creeds, races, and nationalities—the melting pot of humanity we call America.”

Images

Map

441 Second Street West, Kalispell, MT ~ private