J.E. Skahan and Co
At the turn of the century, the burgeoning community of Missoula recognized the need for concrete sidewalks and began securing contractors to pour them in earnest. As a condition of the contracts let by the City, builders were required to identify their work with a name and date in order to track the work for warranty purposes. This requirement gave rise to the use of concrete stamps. Our maternal great-grandfather, James Skahan, entered the fray, pulling his first permit in 1909. His initial stamp was circular in configuration bearing his name, a date and the term “MAKER”. The decal pictured below appears on the window of our production area mimics that design.
Sometime in the 1920’s, the stamp evolved into the form appearing in the chunk of sidewalk below, which was salvaged from Missoula’s west side.
By the ‘50’s, our grandfather, Frip Skahan, headed the company and was Missoula’s contractor of choice for sidewalk construction. His crews would pour concrete in the morning, then grade and build forms for the next day’s pour in the afternoon. The pace of construction allowed for completion of ½ a city block per day. Building sidewalks at that rate soon made Skahan “The most walked on name in Missoula.”