Rodney Hotel

Helena Historic District

Thomas K. Dane established a hotel on this corner in 1875 when Helena became the territorial capital. On a busy thoroughfare just off Courthouse Square, the establishment had become the Rodney Hotel by 1883 and the original frame building fronting Rodney Street soon assumed its present L-shape. Patrons could rent a room and have a hot meal or enjoy a cold draught in the saloon before turning in. Heat from a coal-fired furnace was piped into the first floor and rose through ceiling registers to keep the second floor cozy. Forty-four boarders in 1890 included miners, bridge builders, masons, stone cutters, blacksmiths, and teamsters. The 1910 census records fifteen roomers; the smaller number reflects the partitioning of sleeping rooms to allow more privacy. “Dick’s” grocery replaced the saloon during Prohibition, then William Redd and Fred Meadows reopened it as the Red Meadow Bar in the 1930s. When that longtime watering hole closed in 1997, the Rodney Hotel and Creamery took its place. It was still a neighborhood fixture, but one where youngsters were welcome, too.

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100 North Rodney Street, Helena, Montana ~ Private