Helena’s population grew from 3,624 in 1880 to 13,834 in 1890. The demand for housing grew apace. Between 1888, when the city annexed the Cox Addition, and the early 1900s, forty, mostly working-class homes were built in the South Hills, including this vernacular wood-frame residence. Norwegian brothers Martin and Peter Gabriel may have built the house in 1889 on land originally owned by William Ganson who lived next door at 556. Martin (an upholsterer for A. P. Curtin) had married Marie Fremming in 1888. Peter (a clerk for Clarke, Conrad and Curtin, a large furniture and hardware dealer) married Marie’s younger sister Elizabeth in February 1890. Their son was born that March, and Peter died in November. The Gabriels remained here until 1892. German-born barber Ferdinand Christiansen and his wife Melinda purchased the house in 1906. Melinda divorced Ferdinand in 1914. In 1920, she lived here with five of their six children, ages twenty-nine to fourteen. Four of the children worked to support the family, as a gasoline salesman, machinist, barber, and candy factory apprentice. Melinda remained in residence until her death in 1938.