Filed Under Helena

Ming Opera House Consistory Shrine

Helena Historic District

Masons have been a dynamic force in Montana since early territorial days, playing key roles in events that shaped the state’s history. Helena Masons first came together in 1865 for the funeral of Dr. L. Rodney Pococke, for whom Rodney Street was named. The fraternal organization has since been closely intertwined with the Helena community. The Masons acquired this former opera house in 1912. Built by John Ming in 1880 and renowned throughout the Pacific Northwest, the theater hosted such famous performers as Otis Skinner, Eddie Foy, Marie Dressler, and Katie Putnam. In 1915, noted Helena architects George Carsley and C. S. Haire redesigned the building in the exotic Egyptian Revival style. Under the Mason’s care, the original handpainted 1880s scenery remains in occasional use, as does the spectacular $10,000 pipe organ they installed in the remodeled auditorium in 1915. This Helena landmark survives thanks to the stewardship of its owners and continues to serve as a meeting place for members of all the Masonic orders.

Images

Ming's Opera House
Ming's Opera House Ming's Opera House. View of Ming's Opera House on Jackson Street, facing southeast. Also in the building is the "Second Hand Store." An advertisement for current productions is on the wall to the left. A couple horse-drawn wagons are parked on the street. Source: Montana History Portal Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: 1898

Location

15 North Jackson Street, Helena, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Ming Opera House Consistory Shrine,” Historic Montana, accessed April 15, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/725.