Traditionally known as the Peterson Mansion, built and designed by A.J. Gibson in 1903 for Swedish immigrant and early Missoula pharmacist Gustav Peterson. After living in the mansion for 22 years, the Peterson’s sold the property and seemed to fade away in history. If the “walls could talk” you would hear many stories of residents past. Including the Sorority Girls of ALPHA CHI OMEGA Sorority, who took residence from the mid 1930’s until 1949. Missoula carpenter, Ernest Meyer, then transformed the mansion into apartments consisting of 3 studios on the third floor and 2 two bedroom units on the second floor leaving the main floor as a common area for all tenants. Possession changed hands a few more times, and in the early 70’s PHI KAPPA PSI Fraternity took ownership. With numerous “frat parties” the mansion slowly deteriorated and was scheduled to be demolished in 1979 to make way for the new gymnasium at Hellgate High School. Thankfully it was saved from demolition and relocated to its current address and once again inhabited as a private residence. After almost 20 years with limited restoration the owners, while trying to sell, moved out. For 3 years the Mansion sat vacant continuing to deteriorate and leaving it in desperate need of love and restoration.
February 27, 2001, Tom and Nancy Malikie became the 13th owners of the sadly neglected Victorian mansion with the vision of opening a luxurious Missoula Bed and Breakfast. Even with serious neglect, the beauty of natural hardwoods and true craftsmanship still shone through. In the initial 3 months of renovations, the Malikie’s worked 15-18 hour days to restore and convert the mansion into a bed and breakfast. In addition to making their own “home”, the process of renovations added 5 1/2 bathrooms offering a private bath for each of the four guest rooms. Tom personally applied 125 gallons of paint to the interior, bringing to life the once stark white walls of the mansion.
June 9, 2001, they opened the doors under the name Gibson Mansion Bed and Breakfast, in honor of A.J. Gibson one of the most noted architects in Montana’s history. The versatile Montana Architect designed this mansion along with over 150 private and public buildings during the late 19th and early 20th centuries including the Daly Mansion near Hamilton, MT, the Missoula County Courthouse, and Main Hall at the University of Montana.
This “labor of love” is never ending for the Malikie’s and they continue to research and refine the restoration process. The exterior paint job took a professional crew of 3-6 men, working daily, an exhausting 5 months. The most noticeable change is the gardens and landscape where Tom and Nancy have transformed the overgrown knapweed and dandelion infested grounds to an awe inspiring garden oasis.
Starting the bed and breakfast was Tom’s dream, but Nancy along with their two daughters were also excited to begin this new adventure. Tom, taking on the role as the lead carpenter, began the labor intense process of renovations. Nancy continued to pursue her career in medicine by day and took on the role of assistant carpenter by night. The girls were busy with school and activities, but always helping with meals, decorating ideas and of course, shopping! In August of 2007, Nancy resigned from the medical field and joined Tom as a full-time innkeeper allowing them to “raise the bar” another level. Both girls chose the gardens they helped create to be the setting for their own weddings. Though the girls lives have taken them out of the Missoula area, their passion of the family dream continues as at-large consultants in completing the restoration process.