The Conrad Mansion is one of the most outstanding examples of luxurious living and period architecture in the Pacific Northwest. The building itself remains unchanged since Spokane architect Kirtland Cutter designed and built the home in 1895. Ownership and occupation of this beautiful Norman-style mansion remained in the Conrad family until 1975, when it was given to the City of Kalispell.
The youngest of the Conrad children, Alicia Conrad Campbell, gave the Mansion to the city to be maintained in perpetuity as a historic site. It was her wish that the ancestral home is preserved in memory of and as a tribute to her pioneer parents, Charles E. and Alicia Conrad.
In 1868, at the age of 18, Charles Conrad left his boyhood home in Virginia and traveled to Fort Benton, Montana Territory. There he built a trading and freighting empire on the Missouri River that lasted more than twenty years. In his lifetime C.E. Conrad lived through the Civil War and the settling of the West, and he left an indelible mark on the history of Montana.
The Mansion kitchen showcases a custom-made range, a Southern beaten biscuit machine, and a servants’ call board. The dining room has the original Chippendale table and a complete set of chairs. The bedrooms, with their imported marble lavatories, sleigh beds, and canopied four-posters, appear as they did when many notable guests were shown by the servants to their rooms.
The Great Hall, with its massive stone fireplace and golden oak woodwork, provided the setting for the legendary two-story Christmas tree, ablaze with the light of hundreds of beeswax candles. This beautiful scene is recreated during an exciting three-day social event, “Christmas At The Mansion,” held every October.
During the life of the Mansion, there have been no architectural changes in the building. Both the exterior and interior (all three floors!) have been completely restored to their original beauty. From its exquisitely landscaped gardens to its collection of original furniture, toys, and clothing, the Conrad Mansion offers the most complete example of privileged life in turn-of-the-century Montana.
Visit the most beautifully preserved pre-1900 mansion in Montana and experience the elegance of a bygone era. The museum is open from May 15 to October 15. Special events include Christmas at the Mansion, a Victorian holiday bazaar.
Source: Conrad Mansion brochure.