McCarthy-Pederson Farm Historic District
After Montana became a state in 1889, the Great Northern Railway pushed west and the fertile Flathead Valley opened for settlement. One of the first to apply for a land patent from President Grover Cleveland was John E. McCarthy, who brought his wife and children to this Creston site in 1892. He cleared the timber, dragged logs up Mill Creek to the Yenne-Eccles Mill, and with the lumber built a 10' x 21' home complete with brick fireplace and chimney. Construction of the granary and concrete root cellar followed, all in close proximity to pure water artesian wells. Flooding ruined his first crops, but since McCarthy's farm was on the Flathead River he was able to sell timber down river in Somers and persevered. Kalispell's first blacksmith, Norwegian immigrant Andrew Pederson, moved his wife and eight children to this farm upon McCarthy's death in 1903. The Pedersons further improved the property, building a large home and four additional outbuildings for their cows and horses. During the heady homesteading boom of the early 1910s, the Pedersons’ bountiful harvests included oats, barley, alfalfa, hay, cattle, dairy products, and chickens. The Pederson children continued to work the farm until 1950. Subsequent owners raised prize horses and Golden Retrievers and nurtured the land for grazing elk. Today, the cluster of historic buildings reflects the farm’s diversity and historic owners. The McCarthys’ small homestead and granary and the Pedersons’ loafing barn, horse stable, calving barn, and workshop well represent the agricultural legacy of the Flathead Valley.