Filed Under Helena

Chessman Flats

Helena Historic District

Helena entrepreneur William Chessman built these exemplary Queen Anne style townhouse apartments in 1891 while in residence across Sixth Avenue at 304 North Ewing. Gables, bays, and a rounded turret handsomely demonstrate the architectural exuberance of the period when Helena earned the nickname “Queen City of the Rockies.” The five, three-story units were designed by T. F. Mathias for upper-class tenants. Mathias and his partner, Frederick Heinlein, designed many impressive Helena buildings including the Iron Front Hotel, Masonic Temple, and the former Jewish synagogue at 515 North Ewing. The row houses represent a trend toward multi-family living as space became limited and Helena’s population grew. Chessman was a California “49er” who came to Montana with the gold rush and settled in Helena in 1865. He owned mining interests, developed real estate, and was a key player in the development of Helena’s early water system. The Chessman Reservoir still carries his name. Chessman and his wife Penelope retired to one of his town houses after 1900. Other well-known Helena tenants included New York Store owner Herman Fligelman and Montana Supreme Court Justice Theodore Brantly.


Chessman Flats
Chessman Flats Chessman Flats (PAc 91-51 South Central Helena Roll15 F25). Front to side view of the building, facing north to northwest on North Ewing Street near the intersection of North Ewing and 5th Avenue. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1981


210–218 North Ewing, Helena, Montana | Private


Montana National Register Sign Program, “Chessman Flats,” Historic Montana, accessed July 21, 2024,