Introduction to Helena, Montana
Helena is the capital of Montana and is located in Lewis and Clark County. The city is situated near the Continental Divide, Lake Helena, The Big Belt Mountains, Helena National Forests and other noteworthy scenic sites.
The city of Helena was founded in 1864, primarily due to gold being discovered along the Last Chance Creek. The "Four Georgians" originally discovered gold in the region and the area was called Crab Town in tribute to one of the Four Georgians named John Crab. Quickly, the city was filled with miners seeking gold. Some members of the community decided to rename the city. There was an agreement to name the town after Saint Helena Minnesota; the home town of John Sommerville. The community members decided that "Saint" would not be included.
By the year 1888 approximately 50 millionaires resided in Helena. The city prospered due to the vast amount of gold that was extracted from the Last Chance Gulch. In 1889 railroad entrepreneur Charles Arthur Broadwater constructed the legendary Hotel Broadwater and Natatorium near the city. Helena had been established as the capital of Montana Territory in 1875 and was designated the capital of the state of Montana in 1889.
The city is home to the Helena Regional Airport.
Helena provides residents and visitors with a wide variety of outdoor activities. Fishing, swimming, camping, boating, water-skiing and wind surfing are popular activities at the Holter and Hauser Lakes. Canyon Ferry and Spring Meadow Lake are other popular destinations for outdoor activities. Hiking enthusiasts enjoy Blackfoot Meadows, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, Mount Helena city park as well as the Continental Divide Trail. The Helena region also provides three major trail systems for snowmobiles. The Great Divide Ski area is located near Helena.
- Holter Museum of Art showcases the area's arts and crafts.
- Archie Bray Foundation is internationally known for ceramics.
- Grandstreet Theater.
- Gates of the Mountain.
- Montana Historical Society Museum.
- The State Capital features a huge copper dome.
- The Original Governor's Mansion is a Queen Anne style house.
- Great Northern Carousel.
- Memorial Park.
- Last Chance Tour Train.
- The impressive homes in the Mansion District.
- St. Helena Cathedral.
- Reeders's Alley is a restored mining town.
- Last Chance Gulch.
- Old Fire Tower.
- Civic Center.
Helena is home to Carroll College; recognized as a Roman Catholic Liberal Arts school. The University of Montana-Helena College of Technology campus is located in the city and is affiliated with the University of Montana.