Old Missoula

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Sec A Page 3 Missoulian Centennial Full Page Ad for Missoula Mercantile

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Full Page Ad from Page 3 Sec A – The Mercantile

A fond look to the past

It was a little “cracker barrel” trading post which bravely opened its doors 95 years ago on the same location as The Mercantile stands today. Montana had only recently become a part of the Montana territory and our nation was shaking the ashes of civil strife from her young skirts. Even then the early settlers of Missoula, with indomitable spirit and courage, were looking ahead . . . and the “cracker barrel” store, with the same faith in the future, was looking with them. From this very beginning, The Mercantile strove to not only be a retail establishment alone, but by serving civic need as well to become a part and parcel of a new city. Pioneers discovered that here, true value was given for the money received. In 1885, with the northwest growing by leaps and bounds, the store became known as the Missoula Mercantile Company. And so, from this date, Missoula’s store grew, changed and merchandised to meet the growing demands of a growing population.

Two years later, with a young nation just discovering its productive skill and ability, added quarters were complete to adequately distribute and display an ever-increasing flow of new products. In 1889, Montana became a new star on our nation’s flag . . . Missoula had doubled in population . . . and the Mercantile grew to a complete department store with the addition of furniture and home accessories. Further expansion and modernization continued steadily up to the present day. 1865 to 1960 . . . 95 years! And The Mercantile, in time with Missoula and its people, has become Montana’s oldest and largest. Yet, it is the same store at heart the city had had always known, adhering to the same principles of good storekeeping, quality merchandise and service to the customer. And so it will be as The Mercantile proudly continues to grow and change to meet the expanding needs of Montana’s fastest growing community.

The above article is framed by 5 photos and one drawing of the Mercantile building taken over the period from its beginning through 1960.