Helena Historic District
Courthouse Square was already the busy seat of county government when the territorial capital moved to Helena in 1875. Isaac Alden, clerk of the Territorial Supreme Court and later state court commissioner, financed this circa 1880 multi-purpose brick building just steps from the courthouse. Originally the ground floor’s east portion housed the territorial law library. The public library was on the second floor, and the Alden family residence conveniently occupied the first floor’s west end with its entrance on Breckenridge. In 1888, the law library moved and Hans Jensen opened a saloon in its place. Such close proximity to the courthouse probably hurt business; in 1890, a restaurant opened here. By 1892, both floors had become furnished lodgings. Widows Clara Murphy and Grace Thompson operated the furnished rooms in 1911. Then, between 1917 and 1927 under longtime manager Bertha Brackett, remodeling expanded the building with a third floor. Changes to the simple rectangular structure included a new name, the Courtland Apartments, and Spanish Eclectic style elements. The tile roofing, arched entry, stucco wall covering, and detailing at the cornice remain intact.