Chinese Masonic Temple
306 ½ West Main St.
standing in front of the Helena Chinese Masonic Temple in 1899
are three noted members of John Philip Sousa's touring band. The
month is probably March.
The Library of Congress identifies the men as: Adrian
Whittaker (1852-1926, Herbert
Clarke (1867-1945), and Simone
The building at 306-1/2 West Main was constructed before 1884,
and was taken down before 1930, probably around 1920. The structure
is noted on the 1884, 1890, and 1892 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps
as being a laundry -- one of many in Helena's Chinatown. The first
mention found of the Chinese Masonic Temple being located in the
building is in the 1897 Helena City Directory. The address is
variously noted as being 308 or 310 West Main.
Location of the Temple, circa 1890 View
The Building Was a Laundry at the Time
Site of the Chinese Masonic Temple
1890 View of the Laundry Building
1914 View, After Conversion to the Temple
1898 Temple Entrance Sign
"We Rely Heavily On Your Generous Favor"
HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTION X1980.16.03 PHOTO BY PATTY
Altar from the Helena Chinese
HISTORICAL SOCIETY EXHIBIT, 2016 PHOTO BY KENNON BAIRD
|For more about the history and conservation of this altar, click on the image above to open an online article by interpretive historian Ellen Baumler.
Masonic Funeral, 1890
predated by seven years the first published mention found of the
Masonic Temple being located at 306-1/2 West Main, so there must
have been a previous Temple location.
The Temple Remembered, 1940
Tapestry from the Collection of the Grand Lodge of Montana
THE CHINESE IN NORTHWEST AMERICA RESEARCH COMMITTEE WEBSITE
Chinese Freemasonry Explained
December 2010 Issue of Montana Masonic News
Clicking on the image below will take you to
the issue online. Scroll down to page 12.
NOTE: The altar at the Mai Wah in Butte is not from Helena, as stated in the article. That altar is a family altar honoring ancestors that was displayed at Nevada City and came from the Chinn family in Butte.
to Patty Dean, Ellen Baumler, and Sean Logan for their help in creating this feature!