Lawrence and Amanda Beaver Residence

Early settlers along the gulch made use of the natural landscape by building their homes into the hillside for convenient, climate-controlled storage and maximum space. This gable-front-and-wing style home, built circa 1893, follows this practice. By 1908, Lawrence and Amanda (Olsson) Beaver began renting the home. Lawrence, born Lars Knudsen in Norway, “Americanized” his name. He worked as a blacksmith until an explosion at Marysville in the 1910s incapacitated him. Amanda, who came to the United States in 1902, left a comfortable life in Sweden where, according to the family, her father was the king’s veterinarian. The couple married in 1903. After the accident, Amanda struggled to raise their six children, working as a housekeeper and taking in laundry. Amanda’s son, Gus, was born and raised in this home, residing here into the new millennium when he celebrated his 90th year. The dwelling and its barn, little changed, strongly reflect the working-class character of the West Main neighborhood.

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595 West Main, Helena, Montana ~ private