Photo of the Month: Ol' Gator Mouth

Photo of the Month: Ol' Gator Mouth

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Old Homeplace

One piece of my trip to Glacier National Park last summer was much more personal than just great scenery or even good fishing. You see, my grandpa, great aunt, and great uncles on my dad's side were originally from near Kalispell. I have heard about Glacier National Park for many years, especially from my great aunt. It was clearly her favorite national park, and now I see why. The one thing I hoped to do, but really didn't have much expectation of pulling off, was to find the old homeplace just west of Kalispell.

So, on the day we left Glacier National Park to head towards Idaho, we had a mission. That morning, we packed up camp. In the process, I got a few last good pictures of the local wildlife. Then, it was on towards town where we intended to make one last grocery stop to stock up for a long week of fishing in Idaho. The coolers needed to be topped off with ice, and we were hoping to find a good safe option for takeout at lunch. 

Camp food is delicious and filling, but since we were traveling, something delicious like pizza was going to be a lot easier. After a little searching, we selected Bullman's Wood Fired Pizza which proved to be a winner. We got pizza takeout twice on this trip, and both times were delicious. At Bullman's, we were so hungry we ordered two pizzas, settling on the Gallatin pizza and the Pesto & Goat Cheese pizza. Both were delicious although we got full before we made it through two entire pizzas. Oh well, they made an excellent snack a few short hours later.

After getting the pizza, we took some hazy directions west out of Kalispell on highway 2, hoping to find the old homeplace. The Knapp's had settled here on 80 acres and raised my grandpa and his three siblings. We followed the directions we had, but there was so much new development that it was very difficult to follow. In fact, we made one or two wrong turns and were actively considering giving up when we found another possibility. A couple of turns later, we were looking at something that was incredibly similar to the description I had. I took a few pictures including a couple of the cellphone variety. 

Then, I had a brainwave. I called my great aunt to ask a few details about the property. She still remembers it well, and when I started to describe what we saw, she assured me that it was the property. Later, she again confirmed that the pictures were it. I had found the old Knapp homeplace. The 80 acres were still intact, and I was left wishing that it was still in the family. I semi joked with my wife that we should ask the owners for right of first refusal. I think it would be pretty neat to live back on the old Knapp farm again. I'll probably never have that kind of money though. This beautiful land close to Kalispell is now worth quite a lot. It is nice to dream though! If you ever want to buy me a really big present, now you know what to get. Here is the old place we found...




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