1911 Kalispell Ordinance: Hoses

Real Estate Broker/Owner with 406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® RRE-BRO-LIC-75443

I recently found an online directory of Kalispell City ordinances and thought it’d be intriguing to see what some of the ordinances of the past were. If I can find enough interesting material, I hope to share one ordinance from each year. This week's post will cover a Kalispell ordinance I found from 1911 about hoses.

Ordinance #234 approved in July 1911 indicated that no one was allowed to ride, drive an automobile or any other vehicle across or onto any hose that is lying on any street in the City of Kalispell unless there was a frame over the hose. Anyone who violated this rule was going to receive a fine of up to $300 and/or go to jail for up to 90 days. 

What? If you drive over a hose you have to pay 1/4 or 1/2 of your annual salary in fines? We have all driven over hoses at one time or another. What was the big deal?

Here's my assumption about the issue. The first hoses used were made of leather which was followed by hoses made of cotton/linen, and then those were upgraded with rubber on the inside, and then rubber hoses were invented. And now we can buy not only plain old rubber hoses but hoses encased in steel if we want to!   But back then, most hoses that were used in the city of Kalispell must have been made of cloth.

This first ad was taken from the Missoula Montana paper, The Daily Missoulian on May 3, 1909. Cotton hoses were still in use at the time of the 1911 ordinance.

And rubber hoses were also available around the same time per the second ad which was taken from the same paper in 1913.

So imagine a hose made of cloth with no rubber lining. It would fill with water, and water would indeed shoot out the end, but the cloth would get extremely wet. If a vehicle ran over it, it would remain flat and be of no use until someone went and fixed it.

I'm guessing those who placed those hoses in town were getting tired of having to fix them. I found it funny that there was possible jail time for running over a hose. Especially in an area that currently has a lot fewer rules and regulations than many other states. Perhaps Mayor Whipps, who approved the ordinance, was good friends with hose-owners.

I suspect at some point, I'll find an ordinance that repealed this ordinance because as far as I know, there is no current rule about running over a hose with your car in Kalispell. Should you do it? No, driving over a hose even today could damage it. But if it's left lying in the middle of a road you need to go down? Heck, I'd say keep on driving.

And there you have it, another blast from the past of Kalispell Montana. I wonder what I'll find the next time I peek into the Kalispell Ordinances?

As always if you have any real estate related questions, feel free to give me a call on 406-270-3667 or email me at kat@thehousekat.com.

Originally published at thehousekat.com.

Comments (29)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Kat- it's mind-boggling, isn't it?  $300 is a hefty fine today so back then, it was huge!  And, I thought the same thing that you and Lise Howe thought...wouldn't the frame hurt the car?

Mar 31, 2023 05:56 PM
Kat Palmiotti

I would think a frame WOULD hurt the car... they seemed to be kind-of anti-car back then, maybe that was the point? Kathy Streib 

Mar 31, 2023 05:59 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kat love how you did into the history of the ordinances.... those were the days... now days ordinances are meaningless and no one is enforcing them here in Los Angeles at least, Endre

Mar 31, 2023 10:26 PM
Kat Palmiotti

Endre Barath, Jr. - I haven't gotten to the current ones yet so I'm not sure if they are being enforced here or not - but why have them if they don't mean anything?

Apr 01, 2023 04:45 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have a feeling that you will have no problem at all finding an interesting ordinance from each and every year to share with us.  I have found each of them that you have shared so far very interesting.  Even with the present-day ordinances, there are too many rules, laws, or whatever that don't make a bit of sense, haha.

Apr 01, 2023 08:55 AM
Kat Palmiotti

You are right Brian England - some of today's rules make no sense either.

Apr 01, 2023 08:56 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you for the feature!!!

Apr 02, 2023 12:10 PM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

What a wacky ordinance Kat, but hey...it was way back when. These are fun finds you are sharing with us!

Apr 03, 2023 07:49 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 !

Apr 03, 2023 08:17 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Kat, for this interesting post.

I had not given much thought to the history of hoses.

Apr 03, 2023 08:06 AM
Kat Palmiotti

I hadn't thought about hoses either until I found that ordinance!

Apr 03, 2023 08:18 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Kat,

That is why it is good to stuff your hoses into a hose protector ramp in areas that people are likely to drive. I have seen them made out of wood, plastic & rubber. I find the rubber ones best, because the hose can sort of be clipped into it, so the hose cannot slip out from any, but the most stupid driving maneuvers.

Apr 03, 2023 08:31 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Dorte Engel - good idea if you have to put a hose across a street!

Apr 03, 2023 08:35 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

I've never heard of anything like that.  

Apr 03, 2023 08:48 AM
Kat Palmiotti

I hadn't either Ginger Harper 

Apr 03, 2023 10:05 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

That is crazy and a good reminder for all to review some of these outdated ordinances.

Apr 03, 2023 08:55 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Dr. Paula McDonald - Thank you for your comment!

Apr 03, 2023 10:06 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Kat Palmiotti  what great information for local residents 

Apr 03, 2023 10:23 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Hannah Williams !

Apr 03, 2023 11:03 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Kat,
As far as I know, there are still some crazy ordinances that have never been officially repealed but are no longer enforced.

Apr 03, 2023 11:03 AM
Kat Palmiotti

I'll bet, Carol Williams - regarding my town, we'll see what other ones I might pull up!

Apr 03, 2023 11:04 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

I wondered if a horse step on the hose what would have happened as horses were not identified within the ordinance.  What about a horse and buggy? Interesting research about old ordinances.

Apr 03, 2023 11:23 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Interesting question Leanne Smith - They must have been okay with horses and buggies!

Apr 03, 2023 12:58 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Now that's interesting!  Who knew?  It's fascinating looking at old records.  A while back, in a CE class, they brought a copy of language from a DEED from 1928 with discrimination in it!  Yikes!

Apr 03, 2023 11:34 AM
Kat Palmiotti

It's amazing what deeds used to say Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ !

Apr 03, 2023 12:57 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ

Right?! Loved hearing your story!

Apr 03, 2023 01:07 PM
Steve Penner
Royal LePage / Pro Ledger Online Software - Winnipeg, MB
REALTOR / Pro Ledger Online (owner)

What would be interesting is a story of when that ordinance was actually used. Imagine getting that fine or sitting in jail for something like this. Yikes. 

Apr 04, 2023 04:41 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Steve Penner - too bad jail records from the early 1900s aren't online!

Apr 04, 2023 04:42 AM
Rain Silverhawk
Sandpoint Realty rain@lakeandhomes.com - Sandpoint, ID
208-610-0011 Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Realtor

This was a fun one Thanks

Kat you rule breaker you!  I can see the jail house talk now "What are you in for"  That woud have been an astronomical fine in the early 1900s

Ok girl I got your back I will come bail you out.    

Apr 04, 2023 08:31 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Haha, Rain Silverhawk - if I ever get arrested for hose smooshing, I will be calling you first! haha

Apr 04, 2023 09:43 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Wednesday morning, Kat.

Have a great day and an outstanding week.

Apr 05, 2023 05:19 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Happy Wednesday to you as well Roy Kelley!

Apr 05, 2023 06:21 AM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

Ha who'd have thought that! Good find!

Apr 05, 2023 05:22 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Erik Hiss - I'm finding all sorts of interesting historical stuff!

Apr 05, 2023 06:21 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Interesting that something so delicate would be left in the street back then to be ran over by anyone needing to pass through. If it was a one street town at one time, that could be frustration for the residents, Kat!

Apr 05, 2023 11:34 AM
Kat Palmiotti

I bet everyone was frustrated Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! !

Apr 05, 2023 03:26 PM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

The only hose ordinance for KY that I could find was driving over fire hoses that were unprotected. Each time I look at this blog, it is on my phone. I’ll need to look on a computer.

Apr 07, 2023 09:32 AM
Kat Palmiotti

J.R. Schloemer, CRS - thank you for commenting! Is it still a no-no to drive over fire hoses?

Apr 07, 2023 11:27 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, now that is CRAZY, Kat! $300 in 1911 was an ENORMOUS fine - so, the consequences of the weight of a car had to be severe for them to impose a fine that high. I agree with your hypothesis too - that HAS to be it! 

Apr 09, 2023 10:46 PM
Kat Palmiotti

Debe Maxwell, CRS - what boggled my mind, is someone could be put in jail for this! Huh?

Apr 10, 2023 05:46 AM