T. E. Collins Mansion
Irish-born Timothy Collins followed the gold stampedes to Montana but soon turned to law and politics. For a time in the 1870s he was the only attorney practicing in Meagher County. Elected to the territorial legislature several times, Collins was a Great Falls founder and introduced the bill creating Cascade County with the new town as county seat. He helped organize the First National Bank of Great Falls, built the first brick business block, and platted the west side residential district, building his own home here in 1891. Sited high enough for a commanding view of the city, it was one of the first homes constructed on the far side of the Missouri River. The Daily Tribune proudly noted that such a beautiful residence built in a young town “tells powerfully the story of the confidence men have in the city’s future.” Gables embellished with bargeboards and modillions of classical and oriental influence, a graceful veranda, paneled chimneys, bay windows, and covered porte cochere recall elegant Victorian sensibilities. Although stucco now covers the original brick façade, the striking asymmetry and varied details demanded of the Queen Anne style are beautifully intact. Originally equipped with both gas and electricity, hot and cold running water, and hot air and steam heat, the home was a model of modern convenience before such amenities were commonplace. Rich wood finishings of quartered oak, dark cherry, and ash invite guests to experience the elegance of times gone by.