in 1893, the first Helena High School was located on the southwest
corner of Lawrence and N. Warren. It was designed by Helena-based
architect John C. Paulsen. The cornerstone was laid on October
25, 1890, but legal and political wrangling over cost overruns
delayed total completion of the project until 1893.
for both the High School and adjacent Central School was the
city's first cemetery. Most of the remains were moved to the
Benton Avenue, Forestvale and Home of Peace cemeteries, but
it is likely that remains are still buried on the grounds.
the 1893 High School was replaced by a new building, on Rodney
St. at Helena Avenue. The old school was used for various
activities before it was demolished in 1976, after a legal
battle between the School Board and local presrvationists.
In September of 1983, due to the completion of Cruse Avenue
from Sixth Ave. to Helena Ave., the Domestic Science (Home
Economics) building was moved about 1.25 miles north to the
Bill Roberts Golf Course.
Footprint of the 1893 Helena High School
Description of the New School
The Daily Independent, July 20, 1890
on Image to Open PDF File
High School Under Construction, 1890
Seen from the South
OF CHARLEEN SPALDING
Discovered During Construction, 1890
BY WARD BROS., COLUMBUS OHIO - COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD
U. S. Weather Bureau Signal Flags Flown from Building
Helena High School, ca. 1900
OF KENNON BAIRD
of the old High School
OF AUB KIRKLAND CLICK ON IMAGE FOR
A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW
High School Chemistry Laboratory, 1908
OF KENNON BAIRD CLICK ON IMAGE FOR
A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW
President Theodore Rooselvelt on the High School Steps, 1911
A POSTCARD HISTORY, COURTESY OF AUTHOR TOM MULVANEY
CLICK IMAGE ABOVE FOR A BIG VIEW IN A NEW
U. S. President Theodore Roosevelt spoke from the Warren St.
steps of the High School on April 12, 1911. Colonel Roosvelt
was in Helena for one day, on the final leg of a long western
tour. According to newspaper reports, Roosevelt was quite
busy during his visit. He was driven up and down Main St.
during a brief snowstorm, visited the Montana Club, Fort Harrison,
the Federal Building and the City Auditorium, where he met
with a convention of Civil War veterans. He also dined at
the home of his old friend, Montana rancher Conrad Kohrs.
A planned drive across the Helena Valley to visit the Missouri
River dams was cancelled. Roosevelt left Helena, via private
rail car, around midnight.
High School pennant, ca. 1915
pin tray, about 1900
manufactured in Germany.
View of Helena High School, 1934
OF WENDI KOTTAS PETERSON
CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VIEW IN A NEW WINDOW
High School, 1934
before the great earthquakes. Compare this to the 1973 image
below, also showing the north side of the building, to see
how much architectural detail was lost in the quakes.
Helena High School from Lawrence St., winter 1973-74
BY WALLACE "SKIP" MILLEGAN (1951-1982) COLLECTION
OF KENNON BAIRD
Old Helena High School, 1976
Photos by Patty Dean
As seen from
Roosevelt stood and spoke in 1911
Turret on the
facing Lawrence St.
Helena High School Demolition, 1976
Photos by Henry W. Jorgensen
Tell Why the Old Building Was Razed, 1976
Discovered When Moving School Administration Building, 1983
Pictured Circa 1917
as the "Domestic Science" (Home Economics) cottage
for Helena High School, the brick building on Allen St. served
as administrative offices for the Helena School District from
1935 until about 1983. The expansion of Cruse Avenue from
Sixth Avenue to Helena Avenue in 1983 necessitated the moving
of the building. During that process, a grave from the original
city cemetery was disturbed by earth-moving equipment.
OF CHARLEEN SPALDING CLICK ON IMAGE
TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW
Reminders and Remnants of the Old School
Cornerstone Moved to Current Helena High, 1976
of the golden oak flooring from the building was salvaged
and used as a back bar in "Ichabod's", a pub in
the Arcade Building, on the downtown walking mall. The pub
is long gone.
Sidewalk on Lawrence Street
OF TOM KILMER
From the Old School Can Be Seen Around Helena
Three Photos by Ellen
Baumler November 2011
were evidently allowed to haul away stone from the rubble
of the demolished High School. As well as being of sentimental
and historical value, much of it was put to practical use...
ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW