a large lead smelter was built on the banks of Prickly Pear
Creek in the Helena Valley by the Helena and Livingston Lead
Smelting Company. In 1898, the American Smelting and Refining
Company (ASARCO) purchased the 160 acre site. ASARCO operated
the smelter until 2001.
grew up around that enterprise. For over a century, the smelter
processed 70,000 tons of lead bullion a year, and provided a
livelihood for thousands of families. It also produced untold
tons of toxic contaminants.
the Environmental Protection Agency named East Helena as a Superfund
cleanup site. ASARCO smelting operations were suspended in 2001.
of 2007, the Independent Record presented the ASARCO
here to access the archived feature.
14, 2009, the ASARCO stacks were felled by dynamite charges,
an emotional step in cleaning up the smelter site.
West on Main Street, ca. 1900
OF KENNON BAIRD
Helena is in the distance, and the streetcar from Helena is
on the tracks. Many of the buildings on the left were destroyed
by the fire of 1919 (scroll down for the fire story).
1900 Views of the ASARCO Smelter
COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD CLICK ON IMAGE
FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW
Smelter at Night, 1920s
OF TOM KILMER CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG
VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW
Stack Maintenance, 1946
OF WES AND CAROL SYNNESS
lead ingot from the East Helena ASARCO Smelter, date unknown.
lead ingot from the East Helena ASARCO Smelter, 1960s.
Ca. 1900 advertising
pocket mirror from the
Anderson & Steckler General Mercantile , East Helena.
Helena Fire, August 19 1919
by a carelessly discarded cigarette, the blaze of Aug. 19, 1919
ravaged East Helena's small business district...
Jarvi, Kelly's Barber Shop, Main St., East Helena, 1950s
OF KENNON BAIRD
Views of the East Helena Public School, Early 1900s
and Expanded East Helena Public School, 1940s
287 was the main street of East Helena, the city was notorious
as a speed trap. This badge was a familiar sight to many hard-traveling
motorists who failed to brake quickly enough from 75 to 25 mph.
30 miles southeast of Helena, Townsend was created by the Northern
Pacific Railroad In 1882. Townsend was named by railroad officials,
in honor of the wife of Charles Barstow Wright (1822-1898), President
of the Northern Pacific from 1875 to 1879.
Street, Townsend, circa 1900
Probably the 200 block of South Cedar
Race, Main St., Townsend Montana, July 4 1914
Street, Townsend, Montana 1916
Street of Townsend, 1940s
Jubilee, Esther Chapter No. 3., Order of the Eastern Star
May 24, 1938 Broadwater High School Gymnasium
OF KENNON BAIRD
CLICK ON IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW
The woman sitting
next to the flag is my great aunt, Viola
Myrle Brisbin, née Spear, (1892-1962)
River Inn Nite Club and Motel
Just north of Townsend Opened in 1941 -- Moved to Lakeside,
Inn was built in 1941 by Lester Goodwin (1897-1986). He later
built six motel cottages adjacent to the Inn. Situated near the
bank of the Missouri River, the building suffered repeated damage
from ice-jams after the construction of the current Canyon Ferry
Dam. In 1965, the property was apparently purchased by the Bureau
of Reclamation, and the buildings were sold to be moved, The Inn
was purchased by one Gary Smith for $1,111, and is now at Lakeside.
River inn Nite Club is now the Lakeside Bar
OF TOM KILMER
East of Townsend
is the Toston Dam on the Missouri River. It was completed in 1940.