Filed Under Helena

Root Cellar/Hen House

Gehring Ranch Historic District

Not long after Bartholomew Gehring built his stable, house, and hen house in the late 1860s, he built a substantial stone and log root cellar to augment the cellar beneath his home. Measuring five hundred square feet, the sunken stone walls and massive upper log walls served as an early day walk-in cooler. This building was crucial in the Gehrings’ initial success. It allowed them to store the fresh produce and other perishables that they sold to travelers along the road and delivered to the nearby communities of Silver, Helena, and Marysville. By the early 1890s, markets were changing, and the Gehrings saw better opportunities in raising livestock. Through the first decades of the 1900s, the family expanded its land holdings, constructed new buildings, and mechanized while consistently adding more chickens, cattle, and hogs. After the root cellar was converted for use as a hen house, the Gehrings built a timber-frame addition to accommodate a larger brood. As with other structures on the property, this building’s changing use points to the Gehrings’ tireless efforts over four generations to adapt, modernize, and sustain the ranch.

Images

Root Cellar/Hen House- Gehring Ranch Historic District Root Cellar/Hen House- Gehring Ranch Historic District. Front to side view of the structure, facing east to northeast. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Paul M. Putz Date: July 2016
Root Cellar/Hen House- Gehring Ranch Historic District Root Cellar/Hen House- Gehring Ranch Historic District. Side view of the structure, facing east to northeast. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Paul M. Putz Date: July 2016
Root Cellar/Hen House- Gehring Ranch Historic District Root Cellar/Hen House- Gehring Ranch Historic District. Side view of the structure, facing north. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Paul M. Putz Date: July 2016
Root Cellar/Hen House- Gehring Ranch Historic District Root Cellar/Hen House- Gehring Ranch Historic District. Rear view of the structure, facing south. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Paul M. Putz Date: July 2016

Location

5488 Lincoln Road West, Helena, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Root Cellar/Hen House,” Historic Montana, accessed December 3, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2808.