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Missoula’s historic John R. Toole House up for sale

MISSOULA It lies on six city lots and has 18 bedrooms, seven fireplaces, and almost a century of memories that resonate down the halls.

The John R. Toole House – or the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority – is for sale in Missoula’s historic University District, after the sorority’s suspension of activities at the University of Montana last spring. Despite the fact that their cherished home is up for sale, the sellers are optimistic about the mansion’s future.

Realtors from all around Missoula recently got a close look at the massive property in the centre of the University District, which stands on more than 33,000 square feet of land.

The John R. Toole House, located in Missoula’s historic University District, was erected in the early 1900s.

You may wonder what it was like for the John R. Toole family to live there in the early 1900s. However, for the most of its history, it has been home to the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. The home cost $15,000 to construct and is currently on the market for $2.75 million.

“We simply hope that whomever comes in to purchase our house takes good care of it and loves it.” Unfortunately, due to the way things have gone over the previous several decades, the home hasn’t been kept as well as we would have liked. So, regardless of whether someone turns this into an Airbnb, condominiums, or anything, they preserve the real framework of the property.” Molly Johnson, President of the Kappa Kappa Gamma House Board

The Kappas may not reside in the home anymore, but their spirit does. The young undergraduate women who lived in UM’s first sorority for over 90 years share a narrative of sisterhood, philanthropy, parties, and study rooms.

Reflections of the past may be found in images that fill a space or in the great living room’s famed mirror. It’s a component of the house that has withstood the test of time.

“Missoula’s History.” The Toole family is clearly a very prominent name in Missoula, and it’s on the National Historic Registry,” said Rosemary Harrison of Windermere Real Estate, who lived in the home as a Kappa. “I believe people are drawn to the magnificence of this mansion,” Harrison added. “People are quite anxious that it will become a high rise or something, which is not what the area wants.”

Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Montana

In the early 1900s, the John R. Toole family resided in the University District house.

The historic house will need a lot of love to get it in tip-top form, and the sellers are hope that whomever buys it would protect the building’s integrity in order to preserve the history that’s within.

According to Harrison, the house is being sold “as is.” A large water leak occurred on the third level a few years ago, and there is also asbestos to contend with. The value is in the details, which include imported tile on each of the seven fireplaces, original flooring and windows, crown moulding, stained glass, and the staircase.


“The sellers genuinely want it to be kept as much as possible,” Harrison added. “They’re worried about someone coming in and tearing it down and erecting six homes on it.”

For many decades, the mansion was home to the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

It would be a shame to demolish something so valuable; also, you don’t want to upset the spirits, who are said to be kind by all unconfirmed sources. The owners hope that the big old mansion at 1005 Gerald Avenue will continue to stand proudly in the future, producing fresh memories – as it has for the last 120 years.

This house will undoubtedly need a lot of love. But, in the big scheme of things, this home has been here since 1902 or 1903,” Johnson said. It’s hilarious because whenever someone approaches you and learns you’re a Kappa, they exclaim, ‘Oh my god, you live in that magnificent estate at 1005 Gerald.’ It’s simply something that means a lot to all of us.”

This mirror in the home was purchased in 1937 from the Lord Baltimore estate in England.

J.F. Everett of Link and Carter, the same firm that designed Montana’s state Capitol, designed the home. In 1969, a significant addition was made to the home. The original living quarters on the main level, as well as certain other parts of the home, have been preserved.

The mirror originated from the manor of Lord Baltimore in England. The Kappas paid $50 for it in 1937, and it cost $100 to transport. Because it’s so heavy, they’ve previously wallpapered around it rather of relocating it. It is four feet by ten feet in size.