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The Guardian of the Gulch

Fire was the grim reaper that stalked all western mining camps. Hastily–built log cabins, crowded together along the streets, created a constant hazard. Miners relied on fire for cooking and heating, but they were sometimes careless; their tiny cabins of tinder-dry wood bred a dangerous combination. When one building caught fire, just like a row […]

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Forgotten Pioneers

The remains of scores of Chinese residents lie among native prairie grasses and prickly pear cactus in a wind-swept field outside Forestvale Cemetery’s tended grounds in Helena. Five distinct rows, a few scattered headstones, and one tiny cabin nestled along the south end of Last Chance Gulch are Helena’s only physical reminders of a forgotten […]

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The Wellington Rankin House

The Carolina B & B on Ewing Street in Helena was once the home of C.B. Power, son of wealthy US senator T.C. Power. Several owners later, the house belonged to Jeannette Rankin’s brother, Wellington. When Colleen Cox began its conversion to a bed and breakfast in 1999, the Rankin family connection prompted naming one […]

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The Haunting of Grandstreet Theatre

The haunting of Grandstreet Theatre, which was originally the Unitarian Church built in 1901, is so famous that it is included in Haunted Places: The National Dictionary. Progressive Unitarians designed the church to double as public space, and so the sanctuary also functioned as a public auditorium with sloped seating, a beautiful proscenium arch, and […]

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