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Helena

Featured City Helena

Photo from adobe stock

Originally founded as Last Chance Gulch. While researching these county facts, I discovered the story of how Helena became the name of the county seat of Lewis and Clark County. It is probably the most mis-pronounced city in Montana.

According to Wikipedia:

Some thought the name "Last Chance" too crass. On October 30, 1864, a group of at least seven self-appointed men met to name the town, authorize the layout of the streets, and elect commissioners. The first suggestion was "Tomah," a word the committee thought had connections to the local Indian people. Other nominations included Pumpkinville and Squashtown (as the meeting was held the day before Halloween). Other suggestions were to name the community after various Minnesota towns, such as Winona and Rochester, as a number of settlers had come from Minnesota. Finally, a Scotsman, John Summerville, proposed Helena, which he pronounced /həˈliːnə/ hə-LEE-nə, in honor of Helena Township, Scott County, Minnesota. This immediately caused an uproar from the former Confederates in the room, who insisted upon the pronunciation /ˈhɛlɪnə/ HEL-i-nə, after Helena, Arkansas, a town on the Mississippi River. While the name "Helena" won, the pronunciation varied until approximately 1882 when the /ˈhɛlɪnə/ HEL-i-nə pronunciation became dominant. Later tales of the naming of Helena claimed the name came from the island of St. Helena, where Napoleon was exiled, or was that of a miner's sweetheart.

Helena by any other name would still have become extremely wealthy as a result of the gold rush. By 1888, approximately 50 millionaires inhabited the area, more per capita than in any city in the world.

Helena became the state capitol in 1889 and its history is extremely diverse and involved, from the gold rush to, diversity to, The Guardian of the Gulch watch tower, to the thriving “red light district” to the emergence of prominent, elaborate Victorian architecture and the list goes on. There is way too much to mention here but if someone is interested in Montana, it is worthwhile to look into the history of Helena.

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This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by Big Sky Country MLS. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. All data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate.
Gallatin-BigSky-BSC data last updated at February 20, 2024 9:05 PM MT
Copyright 2020 Montana Regional MLS. All rights reserved.
IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use, may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing, and is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the Montana Regional MLS.
Montana Regional data last updated at February 20, 2024 10:35 PM MT

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© 2024 Big Sky Country MLS. All rights reserved.
This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by Big Sky Country MLS. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. All data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate.
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