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Western Outdoor, an enormous emporium in downtown Kalispell, carries boots in every size from infants to men’s size sixteen.

Kalispell: Mansions, Railroad Art and Hate Radio

The thought of visiting Kalispell filled us with trepidation when we learned that one of the local radio stations was owned by John Stokes, a hate monger who is the loudest and most controversial radio shock jock in Montana. We breathed a sigh of relief after listening to his call in talk show, The Edge. We found his rants against environmentalists, the UN, and liberalism in general to be repetitive, predictable, sophomoric and light on logic. From the lack of callers (we later learned that only 1.6% of radio listeners tune in), we can safely assume that most folks in Kalispell reject this lightweight loud mouth and his message of hate.

Kalispell’s downtown, with its historic 19th century buildings and century old businesses, stands in stark contrast to the malls, car dealerships and general unsightliness that rings the town.

KM was known for its amazing window displays. Cigar smokers will appreciate this incredible spectacle of El Sidelo cigars.

We spent an inordinate amount of time roaming around the huge 1894 Kalispell Mercantile (KM) building studying the vintage photos that lined the walls. KM was, until it closed in 1980. one of the largest, most influential businesses in the Flathead Valley. It was the town’s original mall, the store “for all your needs” … it sold literally everything from groceries to horseshoes.

And for the fairer sex ... Star Naptha Washing Powder!

Even more enjoyable than the downtown is Kalispell’s scenic east side. Here the streets are lined with beautiful turn of the century homes that are shaded by the densest canopy of trees that we have encountered.

Sherry was captivated by the whimsical window coverings of one of Kalispell's more modest cottages.

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