Bob Wards – Growing the Montana Tradition

1960’s – 1980’s

Bob’s oldest son, Ervine, expands Bob Ward’s and Son’s.

After returning from World War II, Bob’s oldest son, Irvine, expanded the business into retail sporting goods, which is its primary business today. The store front located on Higgins Street in downtown Missoula is pictured below, just a few shops down from the famous Oxford Bar which is still in place today.

The expansion continued into the 1970’s when they moved from downtown Missoula to a newer, bigger, and better location in Missoula that had a more modern to the time design and flair. Pictured below.


Shortly after this move in Missoula, they opened their first out of market location in Butte America, USA! Butte is a nearby Montana city with a rich mining tradition, Butte also sits on the Continental Divide and plays host to many festivals and outdoor activities.

Not far behind the Butte store came Bozeman’s shop, which opened its doors in 1978. The Bridger Mountain Range, Big Sky Montana, Highlight Canyon, The Gallatin River and so much more. Bozeman is an Outdoor paradise in Southwestern Montana. Just a short drive from Yellowstone National park it is an easy to see why their biggest satellite store was established here.

Circling their expansion back closer to the original headquarters, Bob Ward’s opened a Hamilton store in 1980. On the West edge of town lies the Bitterroot Mountain Range, a destination for many hikers and climbers in the area. If you’re in the mood for some fishing, The Bitterroot River conveniently winds through the town of Hamilton, enough said!
That same year, Bob Ward’s set up shop in the State’s Capitol, Helena. A short drive from Helena you will find yourself at the Missouri River, The Gates of the Mountains Wilderness and Canyon Ferry Lake.

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