Allard's History

Charles Allard (Charles Allard, Sr. 1852-1896) – He was the son of Joseph Allard, a Canadian Frenchman, and Indian women. They settled at Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana.

Mr. Allard was one of the best known men of Western Montana. He was best known throughout the state as the owner of the large herd of buffaloes on the reservation on Mud creek at the splendid Mission range of mountains in which he was Interested with Michael Pablo. Both played key roles in preservation of the buffalo on the North American continent.

Together, they purchased a few head of bison. The animals multiplied into a sizeable herd. The Pablo-Allard enterprise became nationally famous and attracted wide attention when the herd was sold to the Canadian government Michel Pablo and Charles Allard Sr. owned about 300 head of buffalo that roamed the unfenced Mission Valley feeding on the lush native grass.

Joe Allard had helped his father Charles Sr. to operate a mail and passenger stage service since 1887 that runs from the NP station at Ravalli to Polson. It was a 32- mile jaunt over Ravalli Hill, along the base of National Bison Range, up Post Creek Hill to Ronan and Pablo, and entered Polson along the Flathead River on what’s now Kerr Dam Road. Travelers going further caught a steamboat up Flathead Lake to Dayton or Somers.

This was the feeding station in those days and here the Allard stages changed horses. There has been many a sharp race across the Mud creek flat between the big six-horse stages and the excitement was always high when the passengers were eating at Allard’s.

Though it is not clear when exactly the Allard Stage Stop was started operational, in these clipped articles below, it is clearly described as an existent during the first years of business ventures of Charles Sr. and his Family.

The buffalo country was then the range in the eastern valleys of Montana and the pilgrimage across the mountains was an important event. Yet it is-in one of these valleys of Western Montana that the largest herd of buffalo extant now exists and thrives in its new surroundings. The Allard herd was started by Charles Allard, the well-known cattleman of the Flathead reservation, who died a few years ago.

From a small beginning, by breeding and by purchase the herd has increased till it now numbers about 290 head. These buffalo have free range on the open pastures of the Mission valley, their favorite place being in the neighborhood of the Big Butte, a familiar landmark to those who have visited that portion of the reserve. Michel Pablo and Charles Allard were Metis men who raised and breed Buffalo in Mission range valley. An estimated 80% of plains bison today are descended from Pablo-Allard stock via either Elk Island or the National Bison Range in the US. Elk Island National Park has played an important role in bringing back both plains bison and wood bison from the brink of extinction. 

When Charles Allard got into accident the wound received in a fall with a horse made his knee bone so bruised that the trouble became serious and finally developed into tuberculosis, which affected even the finger Joints and when a Mission Valley matriarch passed on years ago, her family turned to “Col.” Doug Allard. Many of Allard’s businesses stretch down the roadside where U.S. Highway 93 skirts St. Ignatius: Col. Doug Allard’s Flathead Indian Museum, Trading Post, Huckleberry Jam Factory and Fruit Stand, General Store, Lodgepole Motel and the Buffalo Ranch Café and Bar.

The above mentioned group of businesses must be what is known today as the Allard’s Stage Stop. The place originally operates in the time of the Allard’s family ancestor, Charles Allard Sr. in 1800s. The stage served as a horse changed stop by travelers and resting place as they serve food and shelter to those from afar traversing the Flathead Nation. It is also mentioned that the stage place provide mail and passenger stage service since 1887 across Polson to Ronan passing Ravalli in the town of St. Ignatius in Lake County, Montana, United States.



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