Filed Under Helena

Samuel Dempster House

Helena Historic District

Small dwellings along this stretch of West Main Street housed miners and other boarders from the mid-1860s. The first plat of the Helena townsite, drawn in 1868, designated this former mining claim Block Number 1. Scottish immigrant Samuel Dempster may have been the home’s first occupant. In 1881, Gertrude Weggenman purchased the property. She and her husband Joseph, a blacksmith at Blackfoot City, moved here. Joseph died of consumption in 1883 leaving Gertrude with six children. She married Samuel Dempster in 1885. The Dempsters moved next door to 488 West Main in 1890 while Gertrude’s two older children, Joseph and Mathilda Weggenman, continued to live at this address. Like most of its neighbors, the modest dwelling is built into the hillside. At the back of the property there is an entrance to the original mine and a root cellar that provided even temperatures year round for food storage. The 1860s two-room north portion, built of rubblestone, features the original door, a porch with chamfered posts, and wood-framed windows. The south wing was added by 1888, probably to accommodate the large Weggenman-Dempster family.


Samuel Dempster House, streetview
Samuel Dempster House, streetview Still image capture of the Samuel Dempster house at 480 West Main Street, Helena, Montana. Image information recorded on print verso. b&w print. Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Unidentified Date: ca. 1989
Samuel Dempster House
Samuel Dempster House View of front with garage addition Source: iPhone SE digital image Creator: Dan R-A Date: June 2022


480 W Main St, Helena, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Samuel Dempster House,” Historic Montana, accessed June 25, 2024,