Kalispell Monumental Company

“Don’t pay out your hard cash for as sacred an article as a monument without first having an opportunity to see it,” read a Kalispell Monumental Company advertisement. A branch of Sammis Monumental Company of Spokane, the Kalispell enterprise specialized in tombstones and mausoleums. They imported marble and granite from “well known quarries” in both the United States and Europe. The firm also provided stone trim for business blocks. A spur line of the Great Northern delivered stone to the back door of this building, constructed especially for the monument company in 1911. Another track ran through the center of the building for an immense traveling crane, which moved the stone from the railcars to the combined showroom/workroom. Kalispell architect Joseph Gibson designed the one-story building, which cost $12,000 to build. According to the Kalispell Times, it “was constructed especially with a view of the economical landing, and the best display of their products.” Large plate-glass windows lined the front and west sides to make the showroom “one of the lightest rooms in town.” The company went bankrupt in 1914; perhaps Kalispell’s size could not support the business, which advertised itself as the second largest of its kind in the United States. The building’s later occupants included the American Laundry Company, which leased the space in 1917, and the Main Street Motor Sales Company, which converted the building into a garage and showroom in 1927. In the 1970s, after standing vacant for decades, the building was converted into a mini-mall.

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7 1st Avenue East, Kalispell, Montana ~ Private