Missoula Mercantile / Kalispell Mercantile

In 1892, a year after the Great Northern Railway established Kalispell, a stone foundation stood on this corner. Construction soon stalled, however, likely a casualty of the national economic depression known as the Panic of 1893. An 1894 map shows the building still in progress, “to be stores 1st [floor] Lodge Hall 2d.” The county court and offices claimed the second story between 1895 and 1903. The Missoula Mercantile moved from quarters on Main Street to occupy the first floor. One of the largest retail and wholesale operations between Seattle and Minneapolis, the Missoula Mercantile sold everything from groceries to wagons. By 1897, its Kalispell branch employed twenty men and covered a 300 mile sales territory, delivering by train as far as Havre. Building additions in 1901, 1903, and 1908, and the installation of large new display windows, provided spacious quarters when the retailer became Kalispell Mercantile in 1911. A modern façade, installed in 1965, temporarily obscured the building’s historic fabric. Today, the Western Commercial style business block again recalls an earlier era, when Percheron draft horses pulled the wagons making local deliveries.

Images

Missoula Mercantile Company.

Missoula Mercantile Company.

Corner view of Missoula Mercantile in Kalispell, Montana. No postmark; unused postcard. PAc 2013-50 Kalispell - Buildings, General - Missoula Merc | Source: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, Montana | Creator: Publisher unknown View File Details Page

Kalispell Mercantile Co.

Kalispell Mercantile Co.

b&w print. Looking south west at the K M Building (Kalispell Mecantile Co.) at the corner of 1st Ave East and 2nd St East. | Source: Image available on the Montana Memory Project, contributing institution Museum at Central School | Creator: J.R. White, photographer View File Details Page

Street Address:

50 Second Street East, Kalispell, Montana [map]

Cite this Page:

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Missoula Mercantile / Kalispell Mercantile,” Explore Big – Montana's Historic Places, accessed March 24, 2017, http://explorebig.org/items/show/471.

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