Pioneer newspaperman George M. Houtz was the first owner of this stately Italianate style home, built in 1899. Houtz, who had learned the printing trade in Illinois and founded a newspaper in South Dakota, came to Montana in 1891. He and a partner established a newspaper in nearby Demersville. That town was soon abandoned in favor of the new town of Kalispell, and Houtz moved his paper here. Houtz and his wife, Irene, built their new home in 1899 on the very outskirts of town. Spring Creek ran through the back of the property and the neighborhood was sparsely populated. When stonemason Mike Greig finished laying the foundation of native rock, Houtz’s newspaper, the Flathead Herald-Journal, declared it a “splendid piece of work.” The low-pitched roof, gabled dormer, wide bracketed eaves, and arched window are hallmarks of the elegant Italianate style. Fancy wood shinglework complements the clapboard sheathing. The entry porch is remarkably intact with its Tuscan columns and denticulated cornice. Hardwood floors and much of the original woodwork preserve the home’s interior vintage appeal. During the 1930s, the city diverted Spring Creek, and the spacious home, like many in Kalispell, was divided into apartments. Once again a single-family residence, this fine turn-of-the-twentieth-century home stands out among its more recent neighbors.

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822 5th Avenue West, Kalispell, Montana ~ Private