(FOR 19th CENTURY PERSPECTIVE VIEWS OF HELENA , PLEASE VISIT THE MAPS PAGE)

Last Chance Gulch from the Southwest, ca. 1870

 

 

Fourth of July parade, Ewing & Fifth, ca. 1875



Going south on Ewing are equipment and men of the Helena Fire Department. In the background is Central School.

 

Looking West from Helena High School, up Lawrence St., circa 1895


COURTESY OF SEAN LOGANCLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW

Looking west from Sugarloaf hill, ca. 1900


THANKS TO DON CORNISH FOR LOCATION INFO

Downtown Panorama, circa 1910
Taken from the Iron Front Building


COLLECTION OF WES AND CAROL SYNNESS • CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW

Looking East from Mount Helena, 1919


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Looking West Across Park Ave., ca. 1910



A postcard view, possibly taken from the roof of the Gold Block on Last Chance Gulch. The ornate turreted building center-right is the Homer Block, an upscale apartment building perhaps best remembered for the carved griffins above the main entrance. It was demolished in the 1970s.


Looking NE from the Power Block, ca. 1908


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

A postcard view taken from the Power Block, looking NE across the intersection of Sixth and Main, and over the 1884 Horsky Block. Notable buildings, from the top left: Helena High School, Central School, the Public Library and Auditorium.

Compare it with the next view, taken from the same spot in 2006. The only building appearing in both photos is the Seventh Avenue Gym, which was under construction in the early photo. Thanks to Keith Nay for this great shot.


COURTESY OF KEITH NAY

Looking North Over "Catholic Hill", circa 1908


COURTESY OF CHARLEEN SPALDING • CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW

The View from St. John's Hospital, ca. 1908


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

A postcard view taken from the old St. John's Hospital, looking north across Broadway. The building with the gabled roof is the Merchants Hotel (later the Monticello Apartments), located on the NW corner of Broadway and North Warren. The hotel saw the first meeting of both houses of the Montana legislature in 1895. Legislative sessions were also held there in 1897, 1899 and 1901. The building was razed during Urban Renewal in the 1970s.

The postcard seen above was published by Fred W. Hill (1859-1937). Hill, a native of Milwaukee, came to Montana in 1878 and enlisted as a scout in Custer's old command, which had been famously decimated at the Battle of The Little Big Horn in 1876.

Hill came to Helena after his discharge from the army, and made his home there until his death in 1937. He was involved in the wholesale and retail cigar business (as well as postcard publishing), and was associated for many years with the Louis F. Cohn wholesale cigar concern of Butte. At one time he owned and operated what became Higgins Cigar Store at 24 N. Main street, selling the business to Jack Higgins in 1916.

 


Panorama of Downtown Helena, circa 1911


COURTESY OF WENDI KOTTAS PETERSON • CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW
THANKS TO SEAN LOGAN FOR STITCHING THE IMAGES TOGETHER. NICE WORK!

View of Downtown, ca. 1915


BOTH FROM THE COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

 

Similar view, about 1990




View From an Aeroplane, 1913


FROM "HELENA", A POSTCARD HISTORY, COURTESY OF AUTHOR TOM MULVANEY
CLICK IMAGE ABOVE FOR A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW

This amazing photo was taken March 1, 1913 by T. T. Maroney, from just south of where Capital Hill Mall is today. Click on the image above for a big annotated view in a new window. Pass your cursor over streets and buildings in the big view, and identifying text will appear. Many thanks to Tom for sharing this great photo from his book!




Looking South from the 300 Block of N. Main, ca. 1913


COLLECTION OF WES AND CAROL SYNNESS

 

Detail of the Helena Meat Co. sign. Sorry, no elephant meat to be had; it's only posters for the circus coming to town.

 

 

Fuller and Lawrence, looking SW, ca. 1913


COLLECTION OF WES AND CAROL SYNNESS

The vacant corner, on Haymarket Square, is the future site of the 1914 Y. M. C. A. building, which was demolished in the 1970s. The prominent builiding on Fuller, with the awnings, is the Kohrs Block.



Kohrs Block, Fuller Avenue, 1940s


PHOTO BY MAXINE GILMOUR • CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW

 

 


COLLECTION OF WES AND CAROL SYNNESS

Fuller and Lawrence, looking west, ca. 1913. The building in the center is the Bonneville Apartments, formerly the West Hotel. Around 1926, this building was remodeled in the popular Mission style. It stood until the 1970s.

 



Detail view showing the Sanford & Evans enterprise, 404 Fuller Ave.



 

 


COLLECTION OF WES AND CAROL SYNNESS

Placer Ave. intersecting Park Ave., ca. 1913.
The Y. W. C. A. would be built on the vacant corner lot.



 


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

Postcard view of Hill Park from Women's Park, looking west, ca. 1915.

 

 

1920's postcard view of the Algeria Shrine and Great Northern Depot, from Women's Park.

 

 


THE WES AND CAROL SYNNESS COLLECTION

Looking east from Hill Park, ca. 1920. This appears to be a parade making the turn at Neill Ave. and Fuller.

A detail view.



Downtown fire, probably 1920s. Although there was a huge fire on Last Chance Gulch in 1928, this fire appears to be farther north than that blaze. It's difficult to tell if this fire is on Last Chance Gulch or Fuller. Any additional information appreciated.

 

 

 


THE WES AND CAROL SYNNESS COLLECTION

Looking north from S. Rodney St., date unknown. The brick building is the Lissner Elementary School, on the corner of S. Rodney and Pine. It was named for Marcus Lissner, an early Helena entrepreneur.

 


Mount Helena from the Capitol Building, about 1900

 

 


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW

View from the Capitol, 1940s

 

 


COURTESY OF TOM KILMER

Mount Helena from the Capitol Building, 1949.

 

 

Aerial view of Helena, 1935.

 

 


1935 EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE IN THE OLD CITY


THE WES AND CAROL SYNNESS COLLECTION

Earthquake cleanup on South Main, 1935, looking east from above Park Ave. Note the piles of rubble in the foreground, and the obvious damage to several buildings. It appears that scaffolding has been erected across the front of a building on the right.

 


COURTESY OF CHARLIE BEATON

Mount Helena and the west side, about 1935. Taken near the site of C. R. Anderson School



 

1930s "colorized" postcard view, looking north down Last Chance Gulch.

 


May 22, 1937 Aerial View of the Civic Center and Benton Avenue


COLLECTION OF TED KIRKMEYER, COURTESY OF TOM MULVANEY CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW

Looking South from the Templeton Hotel (Iron front Bldg.) ca 1937


COURTESY OF THE DAVID POOR COLLECTION • CLICK ON IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW

 


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1942 aerial view, looking NW, showing the 800 block of Helena Ave. At center-left is the Shodair Crippled Childrens' Hospital. At the top can be seen the Armory under construction at the corner of N. Main and Lyndale. Click on the photo to open a larger view in a new window.

1940s View of Downtown, Looking North


COURTESY OF SEAN LOGAN • CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW


Two Aerial Views of the Capitol Area

Circa 1958

 

 

Circa 1965


COURTESY OF BILL CLARKSON • CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW

 


Carroll Campus and Downtown, circa 1965


COURTESY OF BILL CLARKSON • CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW

 

 

East Side View, ca 1959


COURTESY OF SCOTT NELSON CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW

Here is a lovely circa 1959 view of the smaller, simpler, and unique Helena that many remember fondly. There are no Interstate Highways, no malls, no box stores, no fast-food chains, no seas of subdivisions. Thanks to Scott Nelson of Helena for sharing this outstanding image.

View from Meatloaf Hill, circa 1964


PHOTO BY E. O. KINDSCHY, JR., COURTESY OF MIKE HAUSLER • CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW

 

View looking west on Lawrence St. from the steps of St. Helena Cathedral, 1940s.

 

 

 


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

Looking west on Lawrence, December 1980.

 



1950s Panorama of the South Main Area


COURTESY OF SCOTT NELSON CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW

An early-morning view taken in the 1950s. Nearly every building seen in the lower half of this photo was razed during the 1970s Urban Renewal program.

 


A late afternoon view from the 1950s. The grass is green on Firetower Hill, so it was probably June. Note that the old St. John's Hospital building is still standing on Catholic Hill. It is gone in the following photo.

 

 

 

Looking north from S. Last Chance Gulch, 1950s.

 


 

 

Similar view, 1950s. Can you spot the Sunset Drive-In Theater? Hint: It's across the road from the orphanage.

 


 

Looking north, 1960. COURTESY OF SCOTT NELSON - THE BRIDGEWORKS CONSERVANCY




COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

View taken from the Helena Apartments on Grand St., 1969.

 




COURTESY OF TOM KILMER

A popular 1960s postcard view, looking east. The house with the blue roof can be seen on the left-hand side of the photograph below...

 

 


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

Looking north from the east flank of Mount Helena, 1972.



 


THE WES AND CAROL SYNNESS COLLECTION CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A LARGER VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW

Aerial view of the Sixth Ward, July 1974

 


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

Looking north from near 6th and Park, 1980.

 

 

 


COURTESY OF JEFF SHERLOCK

A great view of the Great Northern Town Center under construction, taken from the Civic Center minaret.