Daems House

Virginia City Historic District

Though simple by today’s standards, the Daems house exemplifies an upper-middle-class, early-1860s Virginia City dwelling. Dr. Levinus Daems and his wife Marie Daems, a nurse, may have been the first residents of the house. Born in Belgium and trained in Paris, Dr. Daems arrived in Virginia City in 1863 to open the City Drug Store. Marie followed a year later with their young daughter and Marie’s two sisters. Levinus served on the first Board of Aldermen in 1865, the Territorial Council in 1866, and as mayor in 1868. He owned more than thirty properties in town. It is unclear if the Daems’s continued to live here as their family and fortunes grew, or if the home became a rental property. Nevertheless, its colorful wallpaper, paint, and faux wood-grain trim reflected the Daems’s economic status and showcased the decorative products their drugstore sold. Levinus died in 1874, and Marie died in 1904. The house remained in the family until 1952. In 2007, the Montana Heritage Commission documented the house’s multi-layered interior finishes before restoring the residence to its 1860s appearance.

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118 West Idaho Street, Virginia City, Montana ~ Public