E. F. Johnson House

Virginia City Historic District

E. F. Johnson likely built this shotgun-plan log home by 1869. Like many of his neighbors he eagerly embraced the trappings of civilization. Circa 1875 he, or the next owner, William Thompson, covered the cabin’s logs with clapboard siding, probably attaching the kitchen addition at the same time. The home’s multi-pane windows reflect the difficulties of transporting even small panes of glass, carefully wrapped in sawdust, by wagon train from Salt Lake City. P. A. Largey, a freighter who arrived in Virginia City in 1865, purchased the residence in 1888, as an investment property. By then Largey had moved to Butte, where he owned Butte Hardware Company, the State Savings Bank of Butte, the Brush Electric and Power Company, and much real estate. He also owned multiple mines, lumber companies, and paper mills in Montana and Idaho. Largey’s estate sold the property in 1911 to Matilda Johnson, who lost it to the county for back taxes during the Great Depression. Sometime after 1990, owners enamored with the pioneer past removed the clapboard to expose the original logs.

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106 West Idaho Street, Virginia City, Montana