Donovan House

East Side Historic District

A small one-story dwelling stood on this lot in 1894, just three years after Great Northern Railroad officials founded Kalispell. Builders may have incorporated the original wooden house into the current gable-front-and-wing residence, built by 1899. Although most neighbors’ backyards had either chicken coops or stables, this one-story home only had a small shed at the alley until owners added a garage between 1910 and 1927. Almost from the start, the well-situated home with inviting front porch was a desirable rental for Kalispell’s growing middle class. By 1900, Charles Peplow, the manager of a flour mill, lived here with his wife Eva. The Peplows were active in Kalispell society; an article in the August 1900 Kalispell Bee reported that Mrs. Peplow decorated the home with sweet peas and nasturtiums when she entertained “lady friends” with a “needle threading contest.” The home’s most beloved resident was teacher Jennie Donovan, who purchased it in 1930 with her sister Ann. An inspired first-grade teacher who frequently gave food and clothing to students in need, Miss Donovan lived here until her death in 1947.

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320 5th Avenue East, Kalispell, Montana ~ Private