Missoula, Montana is facing an exciting time with an immense amount of new business and construction happening around Downtown however, it is also vitally important to keep our historic and cultural legacies alive through this process. Through a collaboration of the Downtown Missoula Partnership, the City of Missoula, and the Historic Preservation Commission, the new program Unseen Missoula will launch in June.
Unseen Missoula is a program that offers weekly Downtown historical guided walking. Two tours will be offered initially – Basements & Back Alleys and the River Walk tour. The Basements & Back Alleys tour starts at Caras Park and features three buildings: the Hammond Arcade, the Florence, and the Elks. They will be traveling to the lower floors and through alley ways while showing and educating the audience about the vast historic past of Missoula. This tour is not ADA accessible.
The River Walk tour also starts at Caras Park and continues downstream to the Orange Street Bridge then upstream to the Madison Street Bridge to loop back to Caras Park. This walking tour will reveal Missoula’s history as it was formed by three general influences – geology, transportation and urban development.
This program developed from a one-time tour hosted by the Missoula Historic Preservation Commission in September 2017 during Missoula in Motion’s Walk & Roll Week. This “Unseen Missoula” tour featured three of Missoula’s historic locations – the Underground Steam Tunnels, a Cold War Era bomb shelter, and The Bluebird Theater. The Historic Preservation Commission expected a turn-out of approximately 75 participants however over one thousand Missoulians came out to take this tour. Thus, began the process of creating a series of regularly-scheduled guided tours built around specific themes for a new Heritage Program.
Registration is now open to the public. These tours will be offered every Thursday at 5:30 pm in conjunction with Downtown ToNight Summer Series and every Saturday morning at 11:30am in conjunction with the Clark Fork River Market. Prices range from $7-$10 dollars and are open to people of all ages.
Visit missouladowntown.com/tours/unseen-missoula for more information and to register for an Unseen Missoula tour. Please contact Kalina Wickham via email at [email protected] or via phone at (406) 543-4238 for more information.