Peace Cemetery is located near the west side of Capital High
School, south of Custer Avenue, close to the Lewis and Clark
County Fairgrounds. Home of Peace was founded in 1867 by Helena's
Hebrew Benevolent Society.
who settled in early-day Helena were primarily from Prussia
or Germany and practiced Reform Judaism. They were prominent
in trade during Helena's beginning, and were held in high esteem
by the gentile community. Jews easily partnered with non-Jews
in building and rebuilding the fledgling city. The Montana Club
and the various Masonic orders in Helena welcomed Jews as members.
Such easygoing integration was not the case in other Montana
cities of the era.
11, 1867 Helena's Hebrew Benevolent Society began steps to acquire
a plot of land for use as a cemetery. Prior to establishing
Home of Peace, Jews were buried along with everyone else in
the City Cemetery, which occupied the site where Central School
is today. The bodies of those pioneer Jews were later reburied
at Home of Peace; the others buried there were eventually re-interred
at the Benton Avenue Cemetery.
Jewish population reached its peak in the 1890s. The second
generation began to move away for better educational and employment
opportunities, and the city's Jewish population began to decline.
inscriptions carved into the central pillars of the stone gate
shown above. The one on the right (south) reads: "Erected
by Morris Sands as a memorial to the sacred memory of his beloved
wife Lizzie who departed this life Jan. 9, 1907". The inscription
on the north pillar reads: "Erected to the memory of Morris
Sands who departed this life Dec. 14, 1910."