Missoula Mercantile / Kalispell Mercantile

Kalispell Main Steet Historic District (Addendum and Boundary Increase)

In 1892, a year after the Great Northern Railway established Kalispell, a stone foundation stood on this corner. Construction soon stalled, however, likely a casualty of the national economic depression known as the Panic of 1893. An 1894 map shows the building still in progress, “to be stores 1st [floor] Lodge Hall 2d.” The county court and offices claimed the second story between 1895 and 1903. The Missoula Mercantile moved from quarters on Main Street to occupy the first floor. One of the largest retail and wholesale operations between Seattle and Minneapolis, the Missoula Mercantile sold everything from groceries to wagons. By 1897, its Kalispell branch employed twenty men and covered a 300 mile sales territory, delivering by train as far as Havre. Building additions in 1901, 1903, and 1908, and the installation of large new display windows, provided spacious quarters when the retailer became Kalispell Mercantile in 1911. A modern façade, installed in 1965, temporarily obscured the building’s historic fabric. Today, the Western Commercial style business block again recalls an earlier era, when Percheron draft horses pulled the wagons making local deliveries.



50 2nd Street East, Kalispell, Montana ~ Private