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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Kalispell in Flathead County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

West Side Historic District

 
 
West Side Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 20, 2020
1. West Side Historic District Marker
Inscription.  Small farms and orchards dotted the fourteen blocks of this residential neighborhood when the original townsite of Kalispell was platted in 1891. Soon a few wood frame buildings were constructed on its lots for temporary housing and to provide outlying farmers a place to stay during trips to town. By the end of the decade, property owners were replacing these with more substantial residences. The close proximity of the high school (1897) and the county courthouse (1903) helped spur the West Side’s early development. Large Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style residences mingled with more modest gable-front-and-wing style homes, each surrounded by wood rail and chicken wire, picket, or cast iron fences. Flower gardens and fruit trees adorned front yards while vegetable gardens, chicken coops, barns, and privies crowded back yards. By 1910, St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, designed by George Shanley, and the O’Neill House, designed by Marion Riffo, added distinction to the growing neighborhood. Shanley and Riffo, along with Judge Charles Pomeroy, author Margaret Scherf, and poet James Whilt were among the district’s prominent early residents. By
West Side Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 20, 2020
2. West Side Historic District Marker
Marker on the right
the mid twentieth century, many outbuildings had been converted to rentals and larger homes to rooming houses providing accommodations for teachers and high school students living in town for the school year. The rent supplied needed income during hard times. Today the front porches that once offered residents a quiet refuge have mostly been enclosed or removed. Hollyhocks and sweet peas no longer line fences, but shade trees planted by the city decades ago and spacious front lawns preserve the original “homey” atmosphere of this early neighborhood.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureArchitectureHorticulture & ForestrySettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 48° 11.549′ N, 114° 18.892′ W. Marker is in Kalispell, Montana, in Flathead County. Marker is on 2nd Avenue West near 6th Street West. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 546 2nd Avenue West, Kalispell MT 59901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Walker Residence (a few steps from this marker); McAllester House (within shouting distance of this marker); Elmer Sonstelie Residence
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(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lee/O'Neil House (about 400 feet away); 610 1st Avenue West (about 400 feet away); Pierce Residence (about 400 feet away); Metcalf House (about 400 feet away); Sundelius House (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kalispell.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 27, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 33 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 27, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Feb. 25, 2021