Saturday, August 3, 2013

Touring Helena, MT

Since I arrived and met up with the WINs later in the gathering, I missed visiting the nearby town of Helena, MT.  So I ventured to town to tour it on my own.  Of course, I forgot my camera, so these pictures were taken with my phone.  Not bad, but I like my camera better.
The tour train was highly recommended by those that had been on it before.  I forgot to get a picture of the train, so the sign will have to do.  It's not really a train, but open air cars pulled behind a tractor which has been made to look like a train.

They drive you around town with a guided tour.  This is the capitol of Montana.

The original governor's mansion.  Since it was the 3rd Saturday of the month, all local museums were open and free, so I toured this home after the train ride.  The home was built in 1888 by a private citizen and was purchased by the state of Montana in 1913, where it served as the governor's mansion until 1959.  

The Cathedral of St. Helena.  Construction started in 1908, the first Eucharist and a funeral were held in 1914, but it was not completed until 1924.

The Montana Club, home of Montana's oldest private dining and social clubs, was established in 1885.  The original building, built in 1893, was burnt in the 1903 fire.  The Montana Club is still active and resides in this building, built in 1905.

Montana Mural.

On the pedestrian mall in downtown Helena.

The Civic Center, built in 1920 as the Algeria Shrine.  It was heavily damaged in the 1935 earthquake and was purchased by the city shortly after.  It was used as city offices until they were moved to The Federal Building in 1976.  It still houses the Fire Department.

T.C. Power House, built in 1891.  T.C. Power was one of Montana's first senators.

S.C. Ashby House, built in 1886 by one of Helena's leading financiers and citizens.

An interesting style house, the bottom is a log cabin, and the top floor is brick.

I spotted this area on the train tour and came back later for more exploring.  Reeder's Alley was built between 1873 and 1884 by Louis Reeder, a brick mason from Pennsylvania.  When originally built, they provided miners small apartments and bunkhouses close to their claims in Last Chance Gulch.  Although the miners moved on, the residents continued to be mostly single and male.  In 1961, when the area was saved from demolition, there were still 16 pensioners living in these apartments.  The area is now small shops, businesses and restaurants.

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