Conrad Mansion Museum
Appreciate the period architecture, furniture and amenities of Conrad Mansion Museum, a large home built in 1895 for one of the founders of Kalispell. The mansion was originally constructed in the wilderness, but its setting atop a small bluff now overlooks the bustling northwestern Montana town.
Charles E. Conrad became a millionaire through shipping, trading, railroad and banking enterprises. When his young wife Alicia found Flathead Valley’s beauty mesmerizing, the family decided to stay in the area. Visit the 13,000-square-foot (1,200-square-meter) Victorian house that architect Kirtland Cutter built as the Conrad dream home.
From the outside, note the gables, bay windows and chimneys made of native stone. The interior has a Norman style, with eight sandstone fireplaces, quarter-sawn oak trim and wrought-iron light fixtures. Tour some of the 26 rooms, many featuring diamond-paned, leaded-glass or Tiffany stained-glass windows.
Note the state-of-the-art technology of the early 1900s, including a freight elevator, dumbwaiter and intercom system. Appreciate the luxurious amenities of the music room, billiard and game room, marble sinks, walk-in closets and Italian onyx drinking fountains with cold running water.
The site, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, opens its doors for tours of the striking architecture and the Conrads’ original furnishings. Peruse the collections of clothing from the 1880s to the 1940s as well as children’s toys and dolls. The grounds include 3 landscaped acres (1.2 hectares) with annual and perennial flowerbeds providing brilliant color inside a stone fence. Imagine yourself in this setting a century earlier as you gaze out of the reconstructed log-and-cedar gazebo.
Check the museum’s website for timing and prices for myriad events at Conrad Mansion, including lectures, murder mysteries, concerts, ghost tours, ice-cream socials, teas and more. Tour Conrad Mansion from Wednesday through Sunday between mid-May and mid-October and by appointment at other times. Proceeds from tours and gift shop sales provide the operational support for the mansion’s upkeep.
Conrad Mansion Museum is a 5-minute drive east of the center of Kalispell. Stroll or cycle through Heritage Park and Woodland Park after you visit the museum.