Central School (Demolished)

Helena Historic District

Construction of Helena’s first permanent schoolhouse began in 1875 after relocation of the old mining camp cemetery that originally occupied these grounds. Opening its doors in January, 1876, it was the first public school in Montana Territory with graded classrooms, a high school curriculum, and kindergarten. By 1889, Central was considered the “most prized” of Helena’s seven public schools. A high school and public library (neither of which remain standing) were added to the block in the 1890s, followed by the school gymnasium in 1908. As Helena grew, Central’s seven rooms became inadequate. The present building, designed by George H. Carsley, was constructed behind the older school in 1915. Two symmetrical wings were added in 1921 and the older landmark was demolished. Still in service today, Central School maintains a place of honor as a historic cornerstone of Montana’s public school system.

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402 North Warren Street, Helena, Montana ~ Public