Filed Under Virginia City

Samuel Word House

Virginia City Historic District

Virginia City’s first stone buildings emerged in mid-1864. Joseph Griffith and William Thompson opened a stone quarry in summer 1864 to build the Creighton Stone Block of rubblestone covered with stucco scored to look like dressed granite. Contents Corner and Stonewall Hall on Wallace Street followed. Similarly, the town’s first stone residences emerged in 1864. A central stone room with an open fireplace is the oldest part of this dwelling. By 1866, pioneer lawyer Samuel Word expanded the house, adding several rooms, including the front section. Word ascended to prominence in Helena and sold the house to Joseph and Jane Trenerry, who added an impressive two-story brick addition in the 1890s. Charles and Sue Bovey bought the building in 1945 for their son Ford, but in 1947, a gas explosion destroyed all but the stone walls. In 1973-74, John Ellingsen restored the stone walls and added compatible new additions. The Word House represents one of many Bovey reconstructions meant to maintain Virginia City’s territorial character.


Samuel Word House, Virginia City
Samuel Word House, Virginia City View looking south at building facade Source: Courtesy of Montana Heritage Commission Creator: Kate Steeley, Montana Heritage Commission Date: Oct 2019


Cover Street, Virginia City, Montana | Private


Montana National Register Sign Program, “Samuel Word House,” Historic Montana, accessed July 13, 2024,