St. Louis Block

Helena Historic District

Once connected to the old St. Louis Hotel on Jackson Street, this 1882 building in the heart of Helena’s original downtown displays the metal cornices and banded, pedimented windows typical of Italianate style architecture of the time. Pioneer businessman Frederick Gamer’s boot and shoe shop, founded in 1867, was located here for many years. The St. Louis Block also housed a bank, a vaudeville house, a saloon, and a bowling alley. It is probably best remembered, however, as “Big Dorothy’s,” which, until 1973, was the last in a long and colorful succession of Helena’s red-light district brothels.

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17-21 South Last Chance Gulch, Helena, Montana ~ Private