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 of the guest rooms the Jeannette Rankin Room. One evening when this gorgeous bed and breakfast was newly opened, two university professors were the only guests upstairs, and the Rankin Room was unoccupied. The two gentlemen were out late. Colleen had to wait for them to return so she could lock up the house for the night. So as she waited for the men to come in, she busied herself changing the sheets in the unoccupied Rankin room. As she finished making up the bed, she heard the guests come in the front door and come up the stairs. It was awkward because Colleen felt that it was too late for her to make conversation with her guests. So she dimmed the lights in the Rankin Room and sat quietly down on the bed. The guests passed by, and when she heard their doors close, Colleen went on downstairs. The next morning the two gentlemen came down to breakfast, looking a little pale. One of them asked if the house was haunted. Colleen answered that she knew of no one who had experienced anything unusual. The man cleared his throat and replied, “We think the house is haunted. We came home rather late, and as we passed the empty room, we saw the unmistakable ghost of Jeannette Rankin sitting on her bed.” Colleen didn’t have the heart to tell them that the ghost they had seen was really her.

Ellen Baumler, Montana Historical Society

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