318 South Fifth Street

Hamilton Southside Residential Historic District

Although Sam Lucas only lived in Hamilton for ten years, he left his mark on the community. Copper king Marcus Daly hired the Kentucky horse trainer in 1890 to work at his Bitter Root Stock Farm. Nothing was too good for Daly’s race horses, and Lucas—who came to the Bitterroot from the famed Belmont Stables—had a reputation as the best trainer in America. The copper magnate paid Lucas a princely $10,000 a year (over half a million in today’s dollars) and even named one of his race horses “Sam Lucas.” Lucas invested some of his wages in rental houses like this one-story wood frame home. Fine carpentry distinguishes the small, gable-front-and-wing cottage. A diamond-shaped window and decorative shingles ornament the front gable, and turned columns with scroll brackets accent the small wooden porch. When Daly died in 1900, his racing stables disbanded and Lucas returned to Kentucky. Five hundred people gathered at the Lucas Opera House (another Hamilton building constructed by Lucas with Daly’s backing) to bid the popular trainer farewell.

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318 South 5th Street, Hamiliton, Montana ~ Private