‘FUPS House’: Historic 120-year-old Missoula home on market | Local News

Watching over the University District for more than 120 years, the historic house at 206 S. 5th Street East has witnessed the growth and change of Missoula around it. In fact, there are probably only a handful of houses in the city with so much history steeped in the woods.

Owners Sue and Rick Knudsen bought the place in 1981 and ultimately decided to sell it with a list price of $975,000. If last Sunday’s open house was any indication, the house is a beloved piece of local history and holds countless memorabilia, many likely unfit for print.

Local real estate agents Mary Trochmann and Joanne Petelin of Berkshire Hathaway say at least 50 people attended, most of whom were people just wanting to relive some good times.

“We had so many people show up who were just like, ‘Wow, if these walls could talk,'” Trochmann recalled. “People told so many stories. One lady said they would cover the floor with baby powder and have dance parties.”

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She said many of the neighbors just wanted to come look inside, and several people who stopped in used to live in the house.

The Queen Anne-style home, designed by famed local architect AJ Gibson and recognizable by its second-story “turret,” was also known as the “FUPS House,” where a motley group of friends who played sports and games together meet and party.

If you’re familiar with FUPS in Missoula, you’ll understand that explaining exactly what it is to someone unfamiliar would be a bit difficult or time consuming.

“Millions of years ago, in a place now known as Frostproof Florida, tiny droplets of protoplasm evolved,” said Rick Knudsen, reciting a story he has told many times. “As they evolved, they grew appendages that later became bats and balls. he used to play a rudimentary form of baseball and softball. From those humble beginnings, only two teams remain in existence. That’s a team from Cincinnati called Red Lakes and FUPS in Missoula.”

“When the great scorer in heaven comes calling you, he doesn’t care if you won or lost or even played, but if you were a FUP,” concludes Knudsen.

The name FUPS can also mean “fu–ing up” or “fouling up,” and Knudsen said the group’s mission is to admit that “everyone FUPS” at some point or another.

Essentially, it is a group of Missoulians who decided in the late 1960s to play softball and other games and sports together. They were especially welcoming to women in an era when that wasn’t always the case, Sue Knudsen explained.

“This was at a time when a lot of women weren’t playing sports,” she said.

At one point, Sports Illustrated hired a writer and photographer to do a story on FUPS, but a newly hired editor cut it because he wanted to focus on professional sports, he noted.

Over time, the house became a kind of headquarters for the group. There they met and made avant-garde silent film screenings with previously recorded and synchronized soundtracks.

FUPS hosts basketball tournaments, summer carnivals, and all sorts of other long-running events in Montana.

FUPS still has a co-rec softball team in Missoula, and Knudsen said there are plans to hold some kind of reunion at the house before it is sold.

Probably built from 1897 and completed in 1901 or 1902, the house is in very good condition for a rental history of almost 70 years. Some of the windows are from a time when windows were leaded in, giving them a glittery effect to someone looking through them. There is a place where the old coal flue used to dump fuel into the basement to heat the house.

Rick Knudsen said the basement apartment was home to many University of Montana athletes who passed it on to other students over the years.

“Dave Dickenson lived here,” he said. “I played hackey-sack with Marty Mornhinweg.”

Dickenson was a legendary quarterback for the UM Grizzlies who led them to the 1995 NCAA I-AA national championship. Mornhinweg was also the starting quarterback for the Griz and later became the head coach of the Detroit Lions. NFL.

On the “Missoula Now and Then” Facebook page, an animated thread about the history of the house is filled with memories and old photos. One image shows members of the Rydyr gang sitting on the porch, with one member sitting on what appears to be a beer keg.

An image from the 1980s shows the Rydyr gang hanging out at the FUPS house.

Trochmann said the owners are hoping someone will keep the house the way it is, perhaps with a little updating.

“It’s a contributing home to the University Area Historic District, but it’s not listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” he said. “I love these old houses. They have a lot of character.”

The Knudsens say they’ve done their best to keep the place in good shape over the years, but they know some improvements are likely needed.

“We just didn’t have the resources,” Sue explained.

They expect to have less work on their hands to keep the house going, but they also look forward to the reunion.

“We’re going to hear a lot of stories about this place,” he said.

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