Helena, Montana

Helena, Montana


Place in the United States
Location of Helena in Montana
Location of Montana in the US
County Lewis and Clark County
Type of place City
State Montana
Coordinates 46° 35′ NB, 112° 2′ WL
Surface 42,45 km²
– land 42,35 km²
– water 0,10 km²
(666 inhabitants/km²)
Height 1.181 m
Mayor Wilmot Collins (D)
Website helenamt.gov
Cathedral of Helena

According to jibin123, Helena is the capital of the US state of Montana. The city was founded in 1864, after gold was discovered in the area. In 2010, the city had 28,190 inhabitants.


The city was founded on October 30, 1864, after the discovery of gold along the Last Chance Gulch by the Four Georgians. Helena’s main street is called Last Chance Gulch and follows the twists and turns of the original watercourse through the old town.

The town was originally called Crabtown, after John Crab, one of the Four Four Georgians. When more prospectors arrived and the town grew larger, it was decided to change the name. John Sommerville suggested the name of his hometown, Saint Helena in Minnesota. The pronunciation (Hel-E-na) did not please the prospectors, they preferred HEL-e-na, with the emphasis on ‘hell’. The prefix Saint was also deemed redundant so that the new name of the city became Helena. Incidentally, this was decided by a difference of only two votes to another candidate name, Tomah.

Map of Helena from 1893

The city was first mapped in 1865 by Captain John Wood. Many roads followed the winding paths of the prospectors and watercourses. As a result, Helena’s street plan does not have the rigid block structure of most American cities.

In 1886 there were about 50 millionaires living in Helena, more millionaires per capita than in any other place in the world. About $3.6 billion (converted to present value) worth of gold was found in Last Chance Gulch over a period of about 20 years.

Helena’s official symbol is a drawing of The Guardian of the Gulch, a wooden tower built in 1886 that still stands on Tower Hill. This tower served as a fire-signal lookout post after a series of major fires between 1869 and 1874. The tower replaced a more primitive predecessor built on the same site in 1870.

Nearby places

The figure below shows nearby places within a 12 km radius around Helena.


  • East Helena (8 km)
  • Helena Valley Northeast (11 km)
  • Helena Valley Southeast (8 km)
  • Helena Valley West Central (7 km)
  • Helena West Side (4 km)
  • Montana City (10 km)


  • Gary Cooper (1901–1961), actor
  • Norman Holter (1914-1983), biofysicus
  • Dirk Benedict (1945), actor
  • Nicolette Larson (1952-1997), singer
  • Patricia Belcher (1954), actress
  • Kerry Cahill (1982), (actrice)

Helena, Montana

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