The Hotel Helena, 114 Grand St.
1889 - Demolished 1972
known as the Helena Hotel and Helena Apartments
Hotel Helena Letterhead, circa 1900
OF KENNON BAIRD CLICK ON IMAGE TO OPEN
A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW
The Helena Hotel,
in 1889 by Dr. Charles Knox Cole (1852-1920) and William Y.
Simonton (1837-1905), the Hotel Helena was a solid five-story
brick building in the heart of downtown. It was located on
Grand Street, which connected Jackson St. with North Warren.
Grand Street and all the formidable Victorian buildings on
it were demolished in the 1970s during "Urban Renewal".
Helena was damaged by a fire in 1912, but the walls were strong
and it was possible to rebuild within them. The building was
remade into apartments -- the Helena Apartments --and remained
so until it was demolished in 1972.
lived on the fifth floor of this building in 1969-70. It was
quite serviceable then, and would no doubt be a coveted address
KENNON BAIRD COLLECTION
of The Hotel Helena and Grand St.
Description of the Hotel When New
Helena, circa 1892
BY WARD BROS., COLUMBUS OHIO - COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD
Souvenir Match Safe
Twain Stayed at the Hotel Helena
Aug. 3 & 4, 1895
MARK TWAIN ARCHIVES - ELMIRA COLLEGE
Clemens, "Mark Twain" (1835-1910), stayed at the Hotel Helena
during his 1895 international speaking tour. The photograph above shows Clemens and local physician Dr. Charles Knox Cole (1852-1920) in the lobby of the Hotel Helena, August 4, 1895.
Clemens spoke at the
nearby Ming Opera House on Jackson Street. Portions of the
Ming auditorium still exist as part of the Consistory Shrine
Temple. He also mingled with local movers and shakers at the Montana Club.
account of Twain's Helena appearance, plus other stops in
Montana and elsewhere on the 1895 tour, please visit this
Newspaper Ad for the Hotel Helena
C. Barth (1871-1952) was a long-time proprietor of the Hotel
Helena, overseeing conversion of the building into apartments
after the 1912 fire.
American Plan" referred to in the ad means that the quoted
rate includes three meals a day, provided by the hotel dining
Fire of Feb. 5, 1912
A POSTCARD HISTORY, COURTESY OF AUTHOR TOM MULVANEY
CLICK IMAGE ABOVE FOR A BIG VIEW IN A NEW
of the February 1912 fire, taken from Main St. On the left
is the Securities Building, still standing today. On the right
is a corner of the Thompson Block, which would be demolished
in 1914 to make way for the Placer Hotel.
The fire was thought to have been caused a spark igniting leaking natural gas in the basement.
Fowlie at 108 Grand would later become the "Helena Hotel",
but it had no connection with the Hotel Helena. That building
was also demolished during Urban Renewal. Available online
newspaper archives show nothing for a Hotel Fowlie, although
there was a prominent Fowlie family in the White Sulpher Springs
Blaze Seen from Fifth Avenue
OF THE RAY AND PHIL JEZICK COLLECTION, VIA CAPT. SEAN LOGAN &
THE HELENA FIRE DEPARTMENT
OF SEAN LOGAN
Barth (1871-1952) operated the hotel/apartments until 1917,
when he sold to Kate Crehan (1864-1929), who previously operated
the Montana Hotel in Billings. Crehan sold to Rose Foster (1879-1955)
in 1928. Foster was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Kranich,
who owned Central Park, an amusement park west of Helena. She
had operated hotels in Craig, Augusta and Gilman. Foster sold
out and retired about 1945.
Helena Demolished During Urban Renewal, 1972
OF JAN AND BILL BROWN VIA THE INDEPENDENT RECORD
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE IN A NEW WINDOW
Soon We Forget...