Filed Under Helena

Gamer House

South Central Historic District

Fred and Emma Gamer built this vernacular (builder-designed) home in 1874. The home’s style and character evolved to suit the needs of its owners. In 1877, they built an addition to accommodate their growing family. The Gamers sold boots and shoes in Helena, Butte, and Anaconda. As their business prospered, they constructed the Gamer Block on Last Chance Gulch and purchased a ranch in the Helena valley. Emma helped found the Montana chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), an organization that promoted women’s suffrage and sobriety. Fred managed the business and served as trustee for Montana Wesleyan University. The Gamers filed for bankruptcy in 1898, forcing the sale of the ranch and the Gamer Block. Their son Fred, Jr. purchased the Butte and Anaconda shoe stores. Fred Sr. died in January 1911, but Emma remained in residence until 1933 when Lena Cullum purchased the home. Cullum served as superintendent of the Florence Crittenton Home, a charitable home and hospital for unwed mothers. She lived at the Florence Crittenden Home and this house became a rental property.


Gamer House
Gamer House Exterior view, front Source: Google Streetview Date: August 2021
Gamer House
Gamer House Exterior view, north side Source: Google Streetview Date: August 2021


Montana Historical Society, “Gamer House,” Historic Montana, accessed July 19, 2024,