221 Spencer Street

Helena South-Central Historic District

Jacob T. Gove, a miner and assayer, developed the Bonanza Chief gold mine near Montana City in 1883, netting over $9,000 from three carloads of ore. With his small fortune, he opened an assay office, built the house next door at 229 for his family, and this brick home as a rental property. Residential land was in short supply during Helena’s heady 1880s, as evidenced by the proximity of the north neighbor. Attorney J. M. Clements, later a well-known district court judge, lived here in 1889. The Goves lived here from 1890 until 1891 when they sold both houses to Julia Otto for $5,000. Mrs. Otto lived next door with boarders and rented this house to tenants, including office clerks, cooks, and in 1900, bartender John Milch and his wife Ida. In 1914, German immigrant William E. Mundt purchased both houses. Mundt worked for the A. M. Holter Hardware Co. for fifty years. He applied stucco to the brick walls, most likely following Helena’s devastating October 1935 earthquakes. Although stucco covers the original brick, the tall windows and interior fir floors are original.

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221 Spencer Street, Helena, MT ~ private