Filed Under Kalispell

Cornelius Hedges School

East Side Historic District

Kalispell architect Fred Brinkman, whose versatility is evident in many local buildings, designed this 1929 elementary school in a style reminiscent of the colonial mansions and homesteads of Maryland and Virginia. The original “open plan” was intended to allow a maximum of sunlight and fresh air into all classrooms and halls. An open-air porch and twin chimneys enhanced the “homelike façade” while interior domestic features included a library with beamed ceilings and fireplace. In the kindergarten room, a cozy fireplace and alcove with miniature inglenook seats added to the homey atmosphere. South Side School, as it was originally called, was the first in Kalispell to have its own gymnasium, which it shared with junior high school students during the 1930s. Built by B. B. Gilliland of Kalispell for $96,000, the school was paid for by bonds. In 1940, South Side School was renamed for Cornelius Hedges, the territorial superintendent of schools, who came to be known as the “father of education” in Montana.


Cornelius Hedges School
Cornelius Hedges School Cornelius Hedges School (PAc 91-51 Kalispell R47 F26). Front view of the building, facing east on 4th Avenue East near the corner of 4th Avenue East and 9th Street East. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Kathy McKay Date: Dec. 1992


827 4th Avenue East, Kalispell, Montana | Public


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Cornelius Hedges School,” Historic Montana, accessed June 18, 2024,