Filed Under Kalispell

C. E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery

One fine fall day in 1902, Kalispell founder Charles E. Conrad and his wife Alicia took a last horseback ride to this area and rested on the narrow overlook where the valley spread below.  Charles told his wife there could be no lovelier place for his final rest. Charles died weeks later, but not before he sketched the mausoleum he wanted Alicia to build here. She carried out her husband’s wishes and had more than one hundred stone steps set into the steep cliff below, allowing private access to her husband’s gravesite. Alicia Conrad worked tirelessly to establish a community cemetery serving all people and all faiths as a memorial to her husband. She traveled extensively to find the right design. At her invitation, A. W. Hobert, superintendent of the famed Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, visited this site and agreed there was none more beautiful. He designed the cemetery in 1903 as a classic Rural Garden Landscape. This concept in urban cemetery planning, first employed in Paris, France, and later in Boston, Massachusetts, offered a park-like setting for the enjoyment of nature as well as burial of loved ones. Alicia initiated a legislative bill, passed in 1905, establishing cemetery management and perpetual care. This cemetery became the prototype for perpetual care cemeteries in Montana. Today, 104 acres include more than 18,000 burials among winding driveways, sweeping lawns, and formal plantings that blend into the spectacular natural setting. Alicia Conrad laid the foundation for thoughtful management and careful stewardship. This unique cemetery welcomes all to enjoy its special features.

Images

C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery View northeast at section with landscaped trees in background. Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination form. MT State Historic Preservation Office, Helena. Creator: Ellen Baumler, PhD. Date: May 2012
C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery View of Fred Whitesides grave marker. Whiteside was a MT state senator and respected Flathead area businessman and politician. Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination form. MT State Historic Preservation Office, Helena. Creator: Ellen Baumler, PhD. Date: May 2012
C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery View south toward the Conrad Mausoleum Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination form. MT State Historic Preservation Office, Helena. Creator: Ellen Baumler, PhD Date: May 2012
C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery View to the west of the Fairy Steps at the top of the ridge, winding around the retaining wall. Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination form. MT State Historic Preservation Office, Helena. Creator: Ellen Baumler, PhD Date: May 2012
C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery View to the east of Veteran's sections. Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination form. MT State Historic Preservation Office, Helena. Creator: Ellen Baumler, PhD Date: May 2012

Location

641 Conrad Drive, Kalispell, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “C. E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery,” Historic Montana, accessed December 7, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/506.