Lewis and Clark County Courthouse

Much Montana history unfolded within this magnificent landmark, which served as both territorial capitol (1887-1888) and state capitol (1889-1902). Here in 1889 officials received word of statehood, and three hours later J. K. Toole was sworn in as Montana’s first governor. St. Paul architects Hodgson and Stem drew heavily upon the Romanesque Revival style as influenced by H. H. Richardson, creating a masterpiece that rivaled eastern counterparts. The well-laid granite walls boast exceptionally fine Bayfield brownstone trim from Wisconsin (the same brownstone of New York’s Fifth Avenue fame) and the interior appointments are also extraordinary. The building’s splendid Norman clock tower presided over Helena until 1935, when earthquakes humbled its grandeur. The tower, fourth-story gables, and a heavy stone cornice, adornments of little use during the Depression era, were not replaced.

Images

Lewis and Clark County Courthouse

Lewis and Clark County Courthouse

Lewis and Clark County Courthouse, which served as both the territorial and the state capitol building until 1902. | Source: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, Montana | Creator: Unidentified photographer View File Details Page

Lewis and Clark County courthouse and jail

Lewis and Clark County courthouse and jail

Former state capitol building with facilities for detention. | Source: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, Montana | Creator: Unidentified photographer View File Details Page

Street view with Lewis and Clark County courthouse in distance

Street view with Lewis and Clark County courthouse in distance

Helena, Montana, street view. [Looking south on Ewing Street toward Lewis and Clark County courthouse.] 1894 | Source: Haynes Foundation collection, Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, Montana | Creator: F.J. Haynes, photographer View File Details Page

View from Lewis and Clark County Courthouse

View from Lewis and Clark County Courthouse

Looking north on Ewing Street from courthouse. | Source: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, Montana | Creator: Lowy & Towner, photographers View File Details Page

Access Information:

public

Street Address:

228 Broadway, Helena, Montana [map]

Cite this Page:

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Lewis and Clark County Courthouse,” Explore Big – Montana's Historic Places, accessed May 27, 2017, http://explorebig.org/items/show/721.

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