Living Magazine April 2020

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Contents REAL ESTATE LISTINGS Flynn Realty Northern Land & Realty Ruff Real Estate LLC Havre Hi-Line Realty Havre Realty

17 24 24 25 26

FEATURES In the Spirit of Progress The Art of Music Showered with Tiles

5-10 12-16 18-23


(406) 265-6795


Stacy Mantle


Pam Burke


Jack Lambert


Stacy Mantle Jenn Thompson


Tim Leeds

Jenn Thompson Jodene Leeds

For advertising information, contact Havre Daily News 119 Second Street / P.O. Box 431 Havre, MT 59501 406-265-6795 Please be aware that due to the time lapsed between publications some Real Estate listings may have changed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


Spirit In the

Progress of


With whiskey added to the offerings, Havre’s Crawford Distillery has expanded its operations along with renovating the historic Veterans of Foreign War Club on Second Street. But the move is not the only thing owners Alyssa and Neil Crawford have been up to since they first opened their doors in July of 2018. They have been dialing in the flavors of their spirits — moonshine, rum, vodka and whiskey — experimenting with different liquors and flavors and winning national and international awards. After almost two years of operation in an 800 square foot building, the Crawfords knew they needed to expand their business. To accomplish this, they purchased the former VFW Club on Second Street and renovated the building to be the new home of Crawford Distillery. “It’s surreal,” Alyssa, who also op-

erates the distillery with her husband and distiller, Neil, said. “… It’s actually humbling.” The former Veterans of Foreign War building, which is now owned by the Crawfords, is 8,400 square feet — a substantial space upgrade from their previous location, Alyssa said. The building had been largely

vacant for the past decade, since the VFW club moved out, members began holding their meetings in the Havre Elks Club, and the building was sold. The VFW Club had two bars for serving drinks, one located on the main floor and one in the basement, she said. She added that they found

April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


a few cool items when they moved in, such as original mixers for the bar, an antique refrigerator and other small items. “I guess for me, Neil and I have always had this passion for old buildings and fixing up houses and finding, kind of, that diamond in the rough,” she said. “I definitely feel we got that here.” The building was originally built in 1926 to be a Ford dealership, which in 1927 was owned by brothers Frank and Edgar Runkel, “Grit, Guts and Gusto” says. The partnership entities evolved until in 1966 the business was renamed Wink Ford, which stayed in the building until 1976 when the Ford dealership outgrew the in-town location and moved out along U.S. Highway 2 West. The VFW Bear Paw Post 497 purchased the space in 1976 and converted it to a bar. Alyssa said that it is nice to be able to bring a building with so much history back into operation, and, while they still have changes they

want to make, the Crawfords are well into their renovation. Alyssa said that during the renovation process they found a number of exterior windows, which were original to the building but had been covered with metal siding when the

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VFW renovated the exterior of the building. This find changed some of their renovation plans, but they are worth it, she said. She added that the upstairs bar is the same one that was installed by the VFW. Crawfords just refinished

and refaced it to update the look. They also removed the drop ceiling and walled off the stage area, she said. Part of the old stage area was remodeled by the Crawfords to make it into a playroom for their children. A number of people in town have shared their memories of going to the bar with their families, she said. Some of the older customers she has talked with remember purchasing their first vehicles in the building when it housed the dealership. “It’s kind of neat to see that

nostalgic part of that kind of come back,” she said. Neil said that the building really suits his needs because the main floor distilling and storage area was built reinforced to hold the weight of cars, so it can be used by the distillery as a place to store their full barrels without fear of the floor collapsing. Just like sourcing Montana-grown ingredients is important to the Crawfords, so is hiring local people, which they have done to help with work during the renovation process, Alyssa

said. She added that they did a lot of the renovation themselves but hired Korb Construction, Milk River Plumbing and Brostrom Electric to do some of the work they were unable to do themselves. With the larger space, they also have room for their ideas for the future, she said, such as creating a commercial kitchen and offering food at the business. She added that they have a lot of ideas up in the air, but one thing is for sure, they are excited about being able to grow. “The sky’s the limit now,” she said.

She added that it is a great feeling to see her husband’s hard work and skill in distilling being recognized, and she’s proud of how far they have both come. They had both hoped for the best when they started the business, but at that time they didn’t know what to expect, she said. “I knew when he started making alcohol, seven, ten years ago, that there was something about it,” Alyssa said. “The flavor was great, just everything about it was great.” She added that before they opened the distillery their friends would try some of the spirits Neil would make and give him good feedback and positive reviews, but opening a business is a significant step. There was no way to gauge, really, how the community would respond, but Crawford Distillery

wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of the community, she said. Neil said that he first got interested in distilling because of his love and passion for spirits. He has always been a big fan of whiskey and wanted to learn how he could make it himself. He added that when he first started distilling he got a lot of the information about the process from the internet and from some publications. Initially, making spirits was more of a hobby, with a very small-scale production, he said. Alyssa said laws prevented them, as a hobby distillery, from making large batches of any spirits or selling or distributing what they were making. She added that the spirits were for their personal use or to serve close friends, but after getting

Progress and Success The move is not the only thing the Crawfords have been up to since they started their business in July of 2018. Since they first opened their doors, they have been dialing in the flavors of their spirits and experimenting with different liquors and flavors, winning a number of national and international awards. Alyssa said that the awards they have won include a double gold for their vodka in the Asian International Spirits Competition, which was held in Hong Kong, China, and a bronze and a silver in an American Craft Spirit Association competition, which was held in San Francisco, California.

April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


a good response they considered pursuing this passion further. After talking about it with one another they decided to try a small commercial endeavor, she said. If it worked out it would be great, and if it didn’t that would be fine too, she added. She said the next step for them was having Neil attend a distilling college in Kentucky to learn more about the craft of making spirits and learn more about the legalities of the business. She added that shortly after he finished his courses they moved forward with opening Crawford Distillery. Their first location was on Fourth Avenue, Alyssa said. But after a couple of months of operation it was obvious they needed a bigger

space, she said. She added that they were quickly selling their rum and moonshine as fast as they were making them. Along with selling to their patrons at the distillery, Crawfords began distributing their spirits to establishments in Great Falls and Ennis as well as around Havre, with their products for sale at the local liquor stores and a number of bars and restaurants in the area. “But we are at max-capacity,” she said, adding that they have nothing stored in inventory because they are selling so quickly. And they had to keep their wholesale clientele limited to a number they could serve. Liquor stores outside of the area started requesting their spirits — and they needed

to increase the production to fill the demand, she said. Alyssa said that she and Neil are also the face of their distribution, having to deliver all of their products themselves. She added that they have wanted to expand their distribution across the state and into other states. But, for that, they had to increase their production. “If we were going to grow any more, something had to change,” she said. One of the projects they are already working on in the new location is increasing their production, she said. “It’s a lot of trial and error,” she said. “It’s a lot of, what does work and what doesn’t work, and then obviously keep doing what works.”

What is new for the distillery? Neil said that Crawford Distillery has purchased two 300-gallon fermenters to move into their new space, which is only the first step in the business’ expansion. He said that before they were running a small 50-gallon batch on a small still which did six runs each cook. The fermenting process takes about a week, and having two 300gallon fermenters will help increase production in a significant way, he said. He added that operating with the 50-gallon fermenter he had before, he would get about three

proofed gallons for every batch, averaging 35 to 40 gallons a month. Their new set-up them, at capacity, increases production by more than 10 times. Distilling is a time-consuming task and running a small fermenter, considering the high demand for their spirits, was a major commitment, he said, adding that he and his wife rarely had days off from the distillery. With the new system they will be able to have more time off together to spend as a family or do family activities with their kids.

At the same time, they will be able to have more in inventory and have the opportunity to expand their business, he said. He added that it will also give them the ability to experiment with new recipes while still meeting their needed production. Neil said that different spirits require different processes. For example, clear liquor tends to not be aged while dark liquor needs to be aged — usually in wooden barrels with the inside of the barrels charred to add a

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different flavor profile. He added that he has already experimented with a few different spirits and flavors. While still at their previous location they released their first commercial whiskey, which was aged in wooden barrels until the flavors evolved. He added that they are also currently aging rum in the previously used whiskey barrels. He is also aging a rye whiskey, as well as a bourbon, which has to be aged for four years in new barrels. He said that, unlike bourbon, when making whiskey the barrels can be reused, but with every reuse the aging process has to be extended for longer periods to achieve the same level of flavors. He added that for the aged rum he is reusing some of the barrels from his first batch of whiskey. Alyssa said they also pride themselves in the fact that most Crawford Distillery liquor is made from ingredients in Montana. From the grains and the barley to the malts they find their ingredients from local producers in the state. Neil said something that he would like to see with the expansion of their business is adding a grain mill, so they can use grain from local producers and grind it themselves to the correct coarseness needed for his spirits.

They are currently working on getting their products certified in the Made in Montana program, Alyssa said, allowing them to display the official sticker on every bottle. She said that another nice thing about the expansion is that they can also offer more variety with their products, from hot sauces to creams along with making more whiskey. She added that they are currently working on a website for people to be able to purchase some of their merchandise and other products, such as the hot sauce. Their original commercial space had its advantages, Alyssa said, adding that she is going to miss their old location in some ways because it was their comfort zone, everything was very tightly knit together. But their new space offers something they didn’t have before. “I can really start to see (Neil) now evolving into what he’s really wanted to make because he has that space and that room and that capacity to really grow, where I do think in the smaller space he felt confined,” she said. Neil said that although it is exciting to see the business grow, it’s also nice to have his family there beside him. He added that they have four children and having his children and wife

at the business with him most of the time he feels confident in the future. “It’s awesome,” he said. “I don’t think I could do it if they weren’t here all the time.” He added that his family has made a sacrifice in order for him to work on his dream, and he is grateful to them for supporting him during this time. He said he would have never imagined being where he is currently and is amazed with how much support the business has gotten since they opened.

Distilling is an art, a different kind of art than writing or painting, but an art all the same, Neil Crawford said, adding that it’s a great feeling to be able to create something people can enjoy and appreciate.

April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


Caramel Apple Pie When Crawford Distillery opened in 2018, they sold only rum and moonshine, but soon added vodka to the offerings, followed by whiskey in late 2019. The distillery now is able to offer rum, cinnamon rum, two moonshines, vodka and whiskey, said Alyssa Crawford, who owns the distillery with husband and distiller, Neil Crawford. Bourbon, which has to age four years in the barrel, will be one of

their next major distilling milestones. Through all the changes, Alyssa said, she has been the mixologist, creating mixed drinks to fit the seasons. Some of her drinks are her spin on traditional mixed drinks, like their Bloody Mary and their Caesar. Others are entirely a product of her imagination, like this issue’s Carmel Apple Pie. The Caramel Apple Pie, she added, is consistently one of their most popular drinks. This popularity

stems from its flavor and its versatility — it works on their drink menu all year round, by either adding ice cubes for the summer menu or by heating the apple juice for cold winter days. Their summer menu, Alyssa said, will include a line of citrus fruit and herb mules including ingredients like huckleberry, grapefruit, mint and basil with flavors like lavender-mint and a grapefruit-strawberry-basil. Alyssa said she comes up with the drinks through trial and error, and when creating the Caramel Apple Pie she had in mind her memories of winter, campfires and hanging out with family at the holidays.


Recipe by Alyssa Crawford, Crawford Distillery INGREDIENTS

1 ounce cinnamon rum 1 tablespoon caramel syrup, plus extra for garnish 1 cup apple cider whipped topping graham cracker ice cubes (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS In a glass, mix rum with caramel, add apple cider and stir. (For a hot drink pre-warm apple cider, and for a cold drink don’t heat cider, but do add ice cubes.) Top with whipped cream, drizzle with caramel and serve with a graham cracker garnish.

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April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


the ART art of music


Though it could be mistaken for just another neighborhood garage along Havre’s Fifth Avenue, Atkinson Music Inc., owned and operated by Mike Atkinson, sells and services guitars, basses, recording and live sound equipment, used band instruments and accessories, as well as working to promote and encourage musicians in the area’s growing music scene. He and his wife, Anita, have always had a love for music, Mike said. Atkinson Music, the natural result of this lifelong passion, opened in Havre a year ago and has become an integral part of the local music scene. “There is a fire. There is a fire in Havre burning for music and for the arts, and that wouldn’t have ever happened unless Havre already didn’t have a lot of heart,” Mike said. While in grade school both Mike and Anita participated in their respective school bands, he said. He was a tuba player and Anita, whom he knew through church, played flute. They married when they were 23, but it was it was another 13 years, while he and his family were living in Billings, before he got back into music. Mike said that he decided to learn how to play the bass because

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he wanted to be involved in the worship service at his church, playing in the church band. He and his wife had volunteered at their church in other ways, such as leading the Sunday School, but nothing quite fit like the church band. One of the youths at the church agreed to teach him how to play, and he practiced to help improve his skills. Eventually, Mike said, he was able to play in the children’s ministry and then moved up to playing with the main worship group, which he did for about six or seven years. “At that point, music became a really big deal, a really big part of my life,” he said. Anita said that one of her husband’s qualities is that when he is interested in something he does it to his fullest. She added that after he started playing he wanted to know everything there was to know about guitars, including learning to repair, maintain and improve them. Mike was very committed to playing and making sure his instruments were in the best condition they could be, Anita said. After a while friends

and other members of the church started asking him to work on their guitars. Mike said that he learned early on how important it is for musicians to have good instruments to play, adding that the instruments have to be set up for the individual customer. Every player is different, he said. “You have to care about how the player plays, and you have to care and listen to what’s important to the player,” he said. “There are just so many variables,” he said, adding that every musician plays differently, needing their instruments to be set up differently in order to play to the best of their abilities. The bridges, necks and frets, as well as the electronic components, if it has them, are different on every guitar, he said. Nothing is standard. There are small differences in every guitar due to the manufacturer or the year and location of where they were manufactured. Musicians also have different playing styles and different techniques to get the sound they want out of their instruments.

All of this means that each guitar must be maintained and set up to the individual player and the style of music. He said he developed his own philosophy while he was helping his neighbor build guns. “His philosophy was you want to take the gun out of the equation, you want to make it about you,” Mike said. “So I want to take the guitar out of the equation; it should not be a hindrance to the way you sound.” He added that no matter who the player is, or what skill level they are, they need to play on a well set-up instrument. “If you want to give them the opportunity to be absolutely the best they can be, they have to play on a well set-up instrument,” he said. In Billings, Mike had a small repair shop in his house. He carried some technical equipment and a few supplies, he said, so he could set up people’s guitars. One of his mentors in the music business, a friend in Billings who owned a music store, was very help

Atkinson Music Inc. 1033 5th Ave. Havre, Montana April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


ful when he wanted to know about the retail side of the business. Mike ended up expanding his hobby into a business, but shortly after he started his music store his other job took him to North Dakota. It was while he was in North Dakota that he started working on developing his own pedal board, he said. Mike’s pedal boards are lightweight and made of aluminum. Most of them come in a flat black color and allow for the wiring of the guitar pedals to be run through the pedal board to give it a cleaner appearance while also providing easier use. He added that he loves effect pedals, even though as a bassist he has very little need for them when playing. Mike said that he had originally bought a Gator pedal board, which was big and bulky, and he would often get the wires tangled together. It wasn’t a terrible pedal board, but it could be better, he said, and that gave him the idea that he could make his own pedal board. He said he started developing the pedal board after meeting with one of his friends who owns a company that primarily produces aluminum sidewalls for trailers. Mike said he saw that they had production equipment, including a large laser cutter, CNC bender and a powder coating line, and he asked his friend if he wanted to help him build a new kind of pedal board. The friend got him working with the head engineer of his other company, Jayco RV, to develop a plan for the pedal board. His first generation pedal boards were called Gigible, Mike said. But just as Paul Reed, Leo Fender, George Washburn Lyon and Orville Gibson all use their last name for their guitar companies, Mike decided to follow suit, and generations two and three of his pedals were branded with the Atkinson name. His pedal board was unlike any other on the market at that time, he said. It ran electrical cords through the pedal board rather than around or on top of it, and it was also made of light-weight aluminum. Two or more could be bolted together

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to create a larger pedal board if needed. This feature is still a special characteristic of his pedal board. “It’s just the best way, in my opinion, to do a pedal board,” he said. Mike said he spoke to his stepbrother-in-law, who worked as a patent officer, to see how he could patent his design, but the patent at the time was too expensive, and after doing some research, he found that someone else had a similar patent. Because this other patent was for an idea to run the cords through the pedal board, it effectively put a hold on the market for other companies making similar pedal boards.

He said that after that other patent expired in 2017, the market was flooded with pedal boards with internal cords. He still was able to sell a good number of pedal boards, he said, but decided not to try taking the business to mass production. When Mike and his family left North Dakota and moved into their house in Havre, Mike said, they originally planned for him to build a shop similar to the one they had in Billings, but it became apparent very quickly that Havre needed something more. As soon as he posted his services on Facebook, Mike said, he was flooded with comments from people who wanted a music store in town. He said because of that response he decided to expand his repair shop into a full retail space. There are many people to thank for the growing music scene in Havre, he said, a multitude of musicians, organizations and community members have been driving forces in creating a place for musicians. He added that Havre had a need for music and, even before he set up shop, people were working hard to support musicians in the area. Havre’s music scene did not grow because of him, he said. “I think our timing is just really ordained,” he said. The reality is, he said, Havre has

a lot of talent and a lot of people who have worked hard to support that talent. He and his wife would have been involved in the community regardless, he added, but Atkinson Music and Havre’s music scene gave them an excuse to be active in the community and support the community in a number of different ways that appeal to his passion for music. The Atkinsons have helped with a number of different musical events, including the high school theater program and last year’s KMNC Rock Lotto and, he said, they plan to continue working with people and supporting the increase in and development of area musicians. He added that business has been very good and he is planning to bring in two new lines of guitars, which will be for the more

There is a fire. There is a fire in Havre burning for music and for the arts. Mike Atkinson Owner of Atkinson Music Inc.

advanced players in the area. Washburn guitars are what he has been supplying since the business started in Havre. He said that his Washburn wholesaler recently told him that he was one of their top Washburn dealers. Mike said that the top selling store sold about twice as many as they did with two full-time stores in San Diego, California. For the size of his store, he added, and the hours his store is open, comparably, he was the top seller. He said Washburns are great guitars and play well for people of any level, but some of the more professional or advanced players need higher-end equipment because they use it more often. The differences between beginner and intermediate players’ and advanced players’ instruments are minute details which translates into

April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


fine nuances in the sound quality, he said. Guitars on the higher end of the spectrum tend to be more expensive and made to a higher quality standard, such as solid wood guitars, consistency in thickness and better electric hardware in the guitars. Depending on the quality, higher-end guitars tend to be anywhere from $500 to $5,000 or more, but guitars below that price are still good, well-made guitars. The only real difference in the guitars are the details of the instrument. He said that he is very pleased with his current wholesaler, Washburn, and he plans to continue offering those guitars, but for the more professional and advanced players in the area, who still play on Gibson or Fender guitars, he wants to be able to offer them a higher-end alternative. Atkinson Music does not carry those two brands but, he said, there are instruments of equal or better quality available and sold at a more manageable price, such as Breedlove and G&L. He said that Breedlove and G&L, which was started by Leo Fender, George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt, are great guitars with a high-quality sound which more advanced players can enjoy, and they are some of the best guitars

currently on the market. Wood makes a big difference in the sound quality of a guitar, he said. “I think it’s important you let the wood speak to you,” he said. He added that every guitar sounds different, even if it is the same brand and model, but it is important to find a guitar that fits the individual and their playing style. A guitar is an extension of the person who is playing it and that is why, regardless of the guitar brand, it is important to have the guitar set up for the individual. The main difference of what Atkinson Music offers is that every guitar sold from his store, Mike said, is set up to his standards for the musician. Anita said that another unique thing about the store is that everyone is welcome to come and enjoy it. Although it is a business, it’s also a place for musicians to congregate and talk with one another. She added that her husband loves music and he enjoys listening to musicians play and talking to them about what they do. Mike said that he feels a passion for what he does and feels a passion toward supporting other musicians. “In that way I look at it like a ministry,” he said. “… If we can help somebody, if that’s why God

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put me here, that’s great.” Sometimes people just come to the store to talk, sometimes it’s enlightening, sometimes it’s heartbreaking, but he likes that the store is a place for people in the community, he said. “Half the reason we do this is because I love people,” he said. “I love to meet other people. I love to be around people, love to hear their stories and know who they are.” He added that he also has a full-time job working for Independence Bank as well as running his store. “I don’t care how big the store is, you can’t make a living doing this here,” he said, adding that this problem is not specific to Havre. Across the country small business owners are also working a second job, he said, and that it is the model for small businesses in small town America. But his situation isn’t bad, he added. It works two different parts of his brain, he said, and he loves both of his jobs because both are important parts of who he is. Mike said that he never imagined he would be where he is today, but is happy to be able to be a part of Havre’s music scene and share with the community. “I stand behind what I do,” he said.




1010 Cactus Drive ~ $269,999 Unique, private 3 bedroom, 4 bath home with incredible views! Fireplace, Sauna, main floor laundry and bonus room with 1 bedroom & bath on 2nd level. Double attached heated garage plus carport & underground sprinklers-all on over 1 ½ Acres in town.

WEEKDAYS 8:00-5:30 OPEN SATURDAY ~ FAX 265-8782

Call Janis Flynn Pyrak @ 390-4900 !


295 Stockyard Rd - Chinook, MT $275,000 108' x 40' Shop with Boiler floor heat and gas forced air as back up, city water / sewer. Three 14 x 16 commercial drive through doors, 28 x 32 office space, rest room and overhead storage on 1 Acre lot.

Amazing 3 bdrm, 2 bath home with oversized 2 stall garage. Newer windows and lots of nice updates throughout. South end location-corner lot. Close to park and church.

661 5th St. N. ~ $119,500

1 bedroom, 1 bath home with fenced yard and 1 stall garage. Everything New!

Call Janis Flynn Pyrak @ 390-4900

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595


40' x 80' Split Shop:East side- storage/ West side, wash bay. Radiant heat, two 14 x 16 overhead doors on each end of shop and four 10 x 16 sliding doors off storage area.

Call Janis Flynn Pyrak @ 390-4900 or Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595



Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595

653 5th St. N. ~ $94,500

Large older Historical 5 bedroom, 2 bath home in Chinook, MT. Fireplace, sun porch, nice large yard and oversized single garage. Located near high shool.

615 W Madison Ave. ~ Chester, MT $79,000 2 bedroom, 2 bath M/H

Call Derek Fraser @ 262-4603

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595

310 3rd Street E. Chester, MT ~ $85,000

Call Derek Fraser @ 262-4603

313 9th Street W. ~ Chinook, MT $195,000 2 Houses~1 Price! Nice Split-entry 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in Chinook, MT. Daylight basement that leads to over sized single garage. Fenced back yard, covered deck & new roof. Also includes a small 1 bedroom, 1 bath rental home.

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595

Business Opportunity in Northern Montana

Flooring Sale & Installation. Furniture/ Home Goods Store. Located in a Small Town with plenty of expansion opportunity. Excellent Family Business with a Great Clientele. Sale Price will included Inventory & Support Equipment.

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595 or Larry Martinson @ 406-390-1509

Acreage For Sale ~ $87,000

51 38th Ave W~$825,000

Excellent Building-9800 sq ft located on 2.396 Acres on Hwy 2. Good locationWest of Walmart-Located near junction Hwy 2 and Hwy 87. This property offers the perfect access and parking for any commercial business. With city water and city sewer. This building is known as the Corman Building West of Havre.

Call Janis Flynn Pyrak @ 390-4900


755 Stephens Rd~Chinook, MT $174,900


Call Kristi Parrotte @ 390-4912

712 E. Washington Ave. Chester, MT ~ $45,000

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595

Call Janis Flynn Pyrak @ 390-4900

3 Bbrm, 1 bath home in Rudyard, MT. Would make a perfect starter home or a great rental, but needs some TLC and refinishing. It sits on a large lot & includes a double car garage. Sold in “As Is” condition.

Call Kristi Parrotte @ 390-4912

Nice 2 bdrm., 1 bath starter or rental home.

725 Ohio St. ~ Chinook, MT $210,000

316 2nd St NE~Rudyard, MT $23,500

515 9th Street ~ $94,500

Cute 2 bedroom, 1 bath home with main floor laundry, wood flooring, new paint and new siding & windows. Many other updates including new deck and picket fence. Single car garage.

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595


Cute South end home. Handicapped accessible, 4 bdrm, 2 bath, open floor plan and hardwood floors. Great garage/shop and partially fenced backyard with shed.



Small shop on Hwy 2. Good location-East end of Chester. Includes large carport.

1619 2nd St. ~ $119,500

Good investment properties. Includes a 2 bdrm. home w/garage plus 1 bed/studio duplex located in rear.


298 S Dell Dr~$189,000

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595

294 S Dell Drive~$206,000


295 Stockyard Rd - Chinook, MT $189,000

606 14th St W~$339,000

Awesome 4 bedroom, 2 bath home near the Hospital. Nice updates, 2 decks, great yard and attached single garage on 2 large lots

Spencer's Hi-Way Bar 15940 US Hwy 2 Hingham, MT $450,000

+/-20 Acres located North of Havre, surveyed and partially fenced. Gorgeous views of the Bears Paw Mountains. This is Bare Land with no utilities in place.

Great Family Business on the Hi-Line! This business has it all. From a great restaurant and bar, to a car/truck wash, RV Park w/shower house, cabin and a very comfortable home with 2 apartments included in the basement.

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595

April 2020

Call Kristi Parrotte @390-4912

4 Parcels on North Side

Approx 1.75 Acres on Havre’s North side. Includes 2 dwellings and a 24x24 shop. Good well with several water hookups already existing along with sewer system.

Call Nelson @ 406-439-0595 | Ken LIVING Havre and the

Nice, well-kept 3 bedroom, 2 bath country home outside Chinook, MT. Situated on 2 acres, partially fenced, close to town on paved road. Includes 2 stall garage and shed.

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595

14 N. Main Street Chester, MT ~ $65,000

Call Derek Fraser @ 262-4603

Acreage For Sale

+/-2200 Total Acres. +/-1560 Deeded and +/-640 State Lease of Agricultural ground located in Northern Hill County. Ground is mostly CRP, some farmed, some native range and excellent soil types. Mostly fenced. CRP will start coming out in Fall of 2019 and finish in 2021.

Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595


• +/- 640 Acres Farmland located N. Joplin, MT ~ All Farmed • +/- 1280 Acres N Hingham All Farmed • +/- 1000 Acres Farmland located N.W. Joplin, MT - All Farmed • +/- 960 Acres Farmland located N. Inverness, MT - All Farmed Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595 or Larry Martinson @ 406-390-1509




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Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to tile your shower. With tips from the last issue you’ve considered your tile selections and the space you want to tile, but now you’re wondering about the work that goes into actually putting your tile in the shower. The following information isn’t meant as a how-to because, literally, tons of information has been written and half of a lifetime of videos have been made to provide that

level of detail. This is meant as an overview of the task, providing some key tips along with photos from a tiling project completed last winter to show you what you’re looking for.

This multi-shower project was in a newly constructed home in the Hingham area, completed by a crew working for McNair Furniture in Rudyard.

April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


Shower Liner The shower stall has to be made waterproof under the tiles because tiles themselves are not waterproof. The traditional material for this is cement board, which looks a lot like drywall, a.k.a. sheetrock, but like the name says, it is made of cement, which is mixed with cellulose fibers. The boards are attached to the wall with special screws, and the seams and screw holes are sealed, much like drywall is taped. The final step is to apply a waterproof rubber membrane over the top, or a paint-on rubberized paint. One note of warning here, though, is that some contractors do not recommend the paint-on sealer for showers because, as John Muller, co-owner of McNair Furniture, said, it’s difficult to get a consistent and thorough layer of rubberized paint on the surface. The rubberized paint seal would be a good safety precaution for, say, a tiled wall, counter top or floor around a sink, outside

the shower or bathtub, or in an area that can expect to have water on it to protect sub-materials that can rot from moisture over time. Modern waterproof membranes are a waterproof fabric that manufacturers recommend for application over regular drywall. These fabric materials cost more than cement board, and are even more expensive if you buy the system with the fabric already applied to a light-weight board that is attached to the wall. All seams and screw holes are then sealed. Muller said that the cement board is cheaper, but more labor intensive, than the fabric. If you are contracting the work out, he said, the cost is about a wash between extra laborexpense or extra materials-expense. If you are doing the work yourself, study the systems and see which you like the best and decide where you want to spend money and time.

A Quick Revisit with Tiles Last issue covered choices on tiles, but a few points are worth revisiting. No tiles are waterproof, but porcelain tiles are closer to that standard than ceramic tiles, so use porcelain on your shower floor. And if traction is a concern, use a rough and or textured tile for the floor rather than a smooth, glazed tile. Tile size matters for a shower project when it comes to the floor. If the shower base slopes down to a center drain, smaller mosaic-type tiles of 1 inch to 2 ½ inches will contour to the slope easier.

Tools Basic tools for a tile job are a tape measure, level, square, pencil, trowel sized for your tile, spacer, padded grout trowel, sponge and five-gallon buckets along with a tile scorer, breaker, wet saw or diamond grinder. Also, a concrete or mortar mixer, which is an egg beater looking tool to mix concrete, and a drill to use it with. The size of trowel you will need is based

on the size of your tile. Smaller tiles will need smaller teeth on the trowel and larger tiles require bigger, wider-spaced teeth. Ask an expert about this, but still take the time to test the coverage you’re getting — more on that in the tiling section. It also helps to have access to the internet handy to review videos about each step you are taking.

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Shower Base You can buy a pre-made shower base, or pan, just like you do a bathtub, and then tile your walls. If you are building your own concrete shower base, research the process needed for the materials you are working with – wooden floor, concrete floor, heated-floor insert, fabric or

rubber liner, and so on. If you are building your own concrete base, it should drop ¼-inch per foot from the wall to the drain so that water runs to the drain and doesn’t pool on the floor. Some experts say the slope can be as much as ½ inch per foot.

Mixing Thinset Lots of descriptions get tosses out about what consistency the thinset should be — like peanut butter, mayonnaise or banana bread batter — but the best thing to do is follow the directions on the bag. If you want to mix a smaller batch of thinset, just do that in proportionate amounts to the directions. For example if you are supposed to mix 5 to 6 quarts of water to a 40 pound bag of cement, an easy proportion would be one-fifth of that, which is 1 quart of water to 8 pounds of cement. And you can add up to about 3/4 of a cup of water

extra. Thinset is the mortar glue that holds everything together, so it’s important to get right. Here are some key points about it. • Get the right cement for the job. It’s worth asking for direction. Your base cement is different from your tiling thinset, and your waterproof membrane might have specific requirements. • Read the directions every time. Different types of cement have different instructions. For example, some require letting the just-mixed thinset rest for a short period of time, then mixing it one last time before use. Some doesn’t need to rest. Water requirements might be different for a number of reasons. • You have a window of time to use thinset before it starts setting up — roughly 20 minutes. You can stir the thinset more, but you can’t add more water because that will change the chemical process and weaken the bond. If you are new to tiling and work slowly, make smaller batches of thinset. April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


Tiling The tiles on the floor should be laid first so that the wall tiles overlap them. You want the water running down the walls to hit on the solid face of a floor tile rather than a seam where the floor tiles butt against the wall. Lay out your tiles in a dry run to see how they will best fit. For the floor, that means considering how and where you’ll trim around the drain and where the floor meets the wall. Shifting tiles one way or another might make them fit better. If your shower floor isn’t square, try to pick one wall to square the tiles to, usually the back wall or one the eye will be drawn to when viewing the shower. For the first round of wall tiles, check for the best placement. Draw a level line and a plumb centerline to match your tiles to. Generally, a centerline is drawn on the back wall and either the first tile placed will be centered on that line or the space between the first two tiles will be centered. When fitting the tiles in, leave a little space — less than a tile-thickness — where two surfaces meet so natural flexing of the house frame can’t press surfaces against the tiles, loosening them. Also leave space between tiles for the grout. Small tiles can have as little as a 1/8 inch gap, but the larger and thicker the tiles, the more gap is needed. Research this. When you start laying tiles, check the first one to see if you have adequate thinset coverage. For wet surfaces, like a shower, and for stone, you need at least 95 percent coverage and for dry surfaces like a floor or backsplash you need 80 percent coverage. Apply the thinset to the surface being tiled, or a test surface — your trowel will leave ridges of thinset, make sure each of your final passes with the trowel leaves ridge lines parallel to the previous pass. Place the tile, press on it and slide it back and forth slightly to work the air out of the thinset, then pull, or pry, the tile back up. The tile should have 95 to 100

percent coverage of wet cement, as is pictured in the “Mixing Thinset” section. If you see tile or see the ridge pattern of concrete showing in more than 5 percent of the tile surface, you need a trowel with bigger and or wider-spaced teeth. Or you can try applying thinset to the back of the tile as well as the wall or floor — this is called back buttering. If the tile has a raised pattern on the back, you want to fill the low areas with thinset. Use the trowel to apply thinset on the tile back, then scrape off excess using the smooth edge of the trowel. If the back of the tile is smooth, use the toothed edge to apply thin-

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set, but aline the thinset ridges with the ridges you have on the shower surface. If you criss-cross the patterns then you’ll trap air pockets under the tile. Retest. If the back buttering worked, proceed. If not, get a bigger trowel. Then retest. Use a wet sponge to wipe off any thinset that gets on the tiles, before the thinset hardens. If too much thinset oozes into the gap between tiles wipe it down, and the next day you can carefully scrape any high spots down, being careful to not damage the waterproof membrane. You do not want to break that waterproof barrier.

Grout Grout, the filler between tiles, comes in the traditional unsanded, fine sanded and quarry types, each for specific surfaces and grout line widths, or a modern epoxy based grout. The traditional and epoxy grouts have different esthetic looks and application processes. Epoxy grout is more maintenance free in the long run, but also more expensive initially. It also sets up relatively quickly so you’ll need to work fast.

Notes from the author... Remember that the internet is your friend — you will find manufacturers’ specifications, guidelines and tips; product reviews; and more “how-to” information than you can imagine. Youtube is amazing. Find a professional tiler

with a Youtube channel to learn from. Personally, I like Sal DiBlasi at user/saldibs for a wide range of projects and advice. Other tilers have posted videos, just make sure you find professionals and

confirm that their advice follows sound practices. Also, check libraries for resources and ask the product retailers, too, because they are a great source for information and advice related to their products.

April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


15 First Ave. NE, Rudyard

1023 5th Street

This luxurious cottage boasts 3 bedrooms/2.5 baths, as well as a 1-car garage with tons of storage! Master bedroom and 2nd bedroom have ensuite baths and walk-in closets. Entire home has been recently updated with refinished hardwoods, new tile and bath fixtures. Too many features to list! Backyard has lovely garden area, storage shed and is fully fenced with room for off-street parking.

2-bed/2-bath home features main floor laundry, heated 2-car garage, all new windows in the upstairs and an apartment in the lower level with separate entrance. Live in one and rent the other or combine for one large home!

1060 Blvd. Avenue

11135 River Rd.

Minutes from town, Country Living at its finest! 5061 sq. feet on 60 acres. 5-bed/4 baths, 3 fireplaces and wet bar. Home has separate living space in walk-out basement. Fencing for horses.

This very clean home features 2+2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, as well as updated kitchen, dining room and cozy woodstove in living room. The insulated, heated Shop is large enough to accommodate many of the larger toys! Home has newer siding and roof. The huge backyard boasts a storage shed and plenty of off-street parking! Close to schools, parks, etc.

Commercial Lots

Commercial lots located in Havre with US HWY 2 & 15th Avenue access. Possible owner financing! 160+ acres of partially irrigated grazing and hayland with corrals, well and good access, close to Chinook. 900+ acres partially irrigated grazing unit near Chinook with great water, cross fenced with creek and trees. Call Jim for more information!

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625 9th Street

2-bed/1-bath home in a quiet neighborhood boasts a large, fenced backyard.

We have qualified buyers for farm and ranch properties.

1630 Northern Heights Drive $378,000 Beautiful modern home 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, executive kitchen, formal dining room, large office, triple attached garage, finished patio area, new floors, new roof and underground sprinkler system.

929 3rd Avenue ~ $180,000 Beautifully updated home with 3 levels of living, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a non-conforming bedroom & huge shop!

Hi-Line Motel

Spacious home with open floor plan. Recent updates include new bathroom, nice kitchen, separate dining room, 4 bedrooms on 2 levels, extra parking & large garage.


Own your own business!!! This well kept jewel has new roof overlayment and siding with 14 units total, living quarters in office area and everyone of the units have had recent updates. This Motel shows a great cash return and the old Radio Shack (an extra large building) could be used for another business. Contact Edward Ruff for more information.


1200 3rd St ~ $48,000

This house has made a nice home for the sellers dad and is now a rental with a duplex unit in the downstairs area.

Several business rentals on the main floor with good rental history and plenty of parking. Downstairs is a complete living facility comprised of nothing but the best for a home...there is a down under driveway with lots and lots of inside storage for equipment, trucks & vans...

529 Pennsylvania St. Chinook, Montana ! $114,900

This would make a great starter home or retirement home at a great price for this well kept 3 bedroom, 2 bath Home with large lot and extra off street parking!

415 1st Street West ~ $450,000

Investment opportunity downtown Havre, MT. This 1st Street frontage property comes with rental income and a turnkey business. The tenants have been in place for years and the business has the furnishings, equipment and licenses available for a turnkey operation. The property has been maintained with recent updates.

Wild Horse Range Bear Paw Mtns.

Experience these 320+- deeded Acres of meadows, trees and springs. The land is fenced & well watered. With loads of wildlife (deer, elk, pheasants).


1425 15th St. North $39,900 ~ 2/3 Acre lot

950 Assiniboine Ave. $240,000

1604 1st Street $141,900

937 Indiana Street Chinook $220,000

801 6th Street $152,900

1030 18th Street $220,000

525 18th Street $57,000

Farm and Ranch W Havre South of the Big Red Barn $325,000

290+- Acres with pasture & cultivated land. This property borders Sandy Creek in places, approx 1/4 mile to HWY 2 W.

931 5th Avenue - $109,900

1363 15th St. North $165,900

212 Illinois Street Chinook, MT $110,000


ACREAGE LOTS with Utilities 5 Miles W of Havre

(2) 1.5 Acre Lots $20,000 (1) 5 Acre Lot $75,000 (2) 10 Acre Lots with Views CONTACT ED RUFF FOR MORE INFORMATION AT (406) 390-1574

1325 4th Street $22,000 Lot & Garage.

14x63 Gallatin mobile home - must be moved! $20,000

600 16th Street $149,900

April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |


Rudyard 226 2nd St. NW -

Much updating! New bathroom, interior paint. Nice kitchen appliances. Side and back decks. Triple car garage.

627 9th St. Great location - main level, large 2 bedroom. Fireplace with open floor plan. 2 - 1 bedroom apartments with shared utility room. Oversized lot with garage with shop area. Great cash flow. Harlem 305 1st Ave. SW -

Many updates to property. Open concept style. Large kitchen, dining area. Large family room on main with master suite. 2nd floor has 2 bedrooms, bath & small kitchen if you want apartment.

Visit our website

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I see more than a bundle. Anthony Cammon FSS LTCP, Agent 115 4th Avenue West Havre, MT 59501 Bus: 406-945-9000


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While other insurers just see your home and car as a bundle or a combo deal, I take the time to see what they mean to you and give them the protection they deserve. LET’S TALK TODAY.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company Bloomington, IL

ASHLEY MOLSTAD Havre | 265-3815 NMLS ID# 729317

KRISTY FOX Havre | 265-3802 NMLS ID# 400360

EXPERIENCE YOU CAN COUNT ON You can count on us to be your partner every step of the way during your new home construction or purchase! Stop in today or apply easily and quickly online at

Montana’s Brand of Banking Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

April 2020 | LIVING Havre and the Hi-Line MAGAZINE |