“New Buildings Show Upward Swing of City,” crowed the Flathead Monitor in April 1936. Charles Cyr contributed to the optimistic outlook by constructing this “modern one-story building, 50 by 100 feet.” Cyr spent approximately $8,000 on the investment property, confident that “while we have no definite tenant … I have faith in the town and I feel sure that the store building will prove a needed addition.” The St. Louis-based W. G. Woodward department store opened a branch here shortly after completion, justifying Cyr’s confidence. Kalispell already had five department stores, but Woodward’s still saw it as a promising market. Unlike many other parts of Montana, Flathead County grew by 26 percent during the 1930s as eastern Montana’s drought-stricken farm families looked for new homes. This made Kalispell a likely prospect for retail stores looking to expand. In addition, the recovery seemed well underway in 1936, with no one predicting the double dip recession that hit the country a year later. Despite this second round of hard times, the Woodward Co. continued to occupy this prime retail location until 1955.

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322-324 South Main Street, Kalispell, Montana