Filed Under Helena

Charles K. Wells House

Helena Historic District

Gold-seeking miners once turned the soil in this neighborhood, but when the gold played out, residential development began. Charles K. Wells, whose downtown stationery store was well established by 1870, purchased a large tract of land on Upper Rodney Street. He sold off some of the parcels, but he chose this spectacular corner for his own family home. Wells was a founder of the Helena Board of Trade in 1877 and a prominent civic leader. By the early 1880s, he, his wife Sallie, and their young son occupied a modest dwelling on the lot. Architect John C. Paulsen designed the present home for the Wells family in 1887. Paulsen later rose to state architect and designed many Montana institutions. Early in his career, he honed his talents designing numerous Helena residences and commercial blocks as the town grew by leaps and bounds. The Wells family home exemplifies the booming 1880s. Over the years, changes have obscured many of the original Queen Anne style elements, but the home’s footprint remains unchanged. A magnificent tall, brick chimney survives, revealing close affinities with the flamboyant Victorian era.


Charles K. Wells House
Charles K. Wells House Charles K. Wells House (PAc 91-51 South Central Helena Roll07 F18). Front view of the house, facing west near the corner of South Rodney Street and Clancy Street from the stone wall in front that runs along the front sidewalk. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1981


520 South Rodney Street, Helena, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Charles K. Wells House,” Historic Montana, accessed May 26, 2024,