Allen's Antler Artistry
1953 Log Cabin Shop Still Stands on 11th Ave.
FROM "PROFITABLE HOBBIES" MAGAZINE, OCT. 1952
Button Shop", a unique endeavor by Jean Cordell Allen (1903-1972), operated
at two locations in Helena. The first shop, pictured below,
stood at 1520 Euclid (between Mountain View and Garrison) from
1948 to 1953. Allen built a second log structure at 1807
Eleventh Avenue in 1953; it stands today.
An Adventurous Early Life
|Born in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1903 to Edward and Julia Cordell, Jean made the news in 1923 by hiking from Wisconsin to Miles City, Montana and back. In 1933, she rode a horse from Montana to the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago.
Walking from Wisconsin to Montana and Back, 1923
|Jean eventually moved to Montana, and married Samuel L. Barnes (1890-1947) in Missoula in 1924. While living in Missoula, Jean participated in the local Pony Express Days celebrations, riding in endurance races from outlying Montana towns.
Horseback Ride to the Century of Progress Exposition, 1933
|There were no further newspaper mentions of Miss Marian Harker (later Marian Thomason, 1917-2006) regarding this trip. Information about when and why she left the trek was not found.
|Jean and Samuel Barnes were divorced, but no date was found. She married Floyd Allen in Anaconda in 1943, Their daughter Judith was born in 1944. The family moved to Helena in 1947, and began building the log cabin Button Shop on Euclid Avenue. Jean and Floyd divorced in 1951.
A Promotional Article in the Independent Record, 1951
of Jean's Button Shop Handiwork
Screw-back Antler Earrings by Jean Allen, circa 1948
OF DOUG AND KATHY LINDGREN
Carded Buttons by Jean Allen
OF SEAN LOGAN
Antler Sculpture by Jean Allen, date unknown
Dorothy Helton's "Profitable Hobbies" Article About Jean
on the magazine cover will open the text of the article in a
Shop Moves to 1807 Eleventh Avnue, 1953
was granted a divorce from Floyd Allen in December of 1951. Floyd
was ordered to pay the mortgage on their Euclid Avenue home, which
may have led to the 1952 sale of that home and Jean's building
of the combination shop / residence on Eleventh Avenue in 1953.
Eleventh Avenue, July 1957
PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN • KENNON BAIRD COLLECTION
CLICK ON IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW
West Virgina, Gallery Show
Unusual Newspaper Stories
mention of the Button Shop I find in the available online newspaper
archives is from May 1970, when items from the Button Shop were
being sold. The Saddle Rest Antique Shop opened in the building
in June of 1970. Jean Allen died in Seattle, Washington, on March 27, 1972.`
Eleventh Avenue, 2011
BY KENNON BAIRD
Opened as The Dandelion in 2018