Filed Under Kalispell

Sauser-Mercord Building

Kalispell Main Steet Historic District (Addendum and Boundary Increase)

A unified second-story façade with distinct first-floor storefronts reflects the unique history of this business block. George McMahon paid $4,000 to have the building’s southern (left) half constructed in 1901 for his undertaking business. McMahon was one of the first coroners in Kalispell, and like most early undertakers, he had multiple businesses. McMahon sold his business to trained undertaker and embalmer William Sherman in 1903. William sold pianos as well as conducting his mortuary business on the first floor and used the basement as an embalming room. Wife and business partner Nora and their seven children lived on the second floor. After William died, Nora continued the business. In 1920, she became one of the first licensed women undertakers in Montana. Realtor John Sauser hired Frederick Mercord to construct the northern storefront and second-story apartments in 1925. The southern façade was likely remodeled at that time to create the appearance of a single, substantial business block. Although the two buildings share a common wall, no doors connect the two structures. Subsequent first-floor remodels include a recent extensive redesign of the north side storefront.

Images

Sauser-Mercord Building, street view
Sauser-Mercord Building, street view photo adhered to National Register form (verso unavailable) b&w print [placeholder image until better quality is identified and digitized] Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: ca. 1980

Location

338 South Main Street, Kalispell, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Sauser-Mercord Building,” Historic Montana, accessed June 17, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/473.