Filed Under Helena

Beattie Memorial Park

Helena Railroad Depot Historic District

The Northern Pacific’s arrival in 1883 brought rapid local changes including development of this pie-shaped block. By 1884, a brick barber shop, three saloons, a cobbler, and a boarding house served the first passenger trains and earliest residents. By 1906, Walter Larson’s meat market and Ole Swanson’s corner saloon were neighborhood fixtures. But by 1929, the dilapidated, abandoned buildings made the seedy block infamous along the Northern Pacific line. Anna and Mary Beattie of Illinois had given the city a trust fund in memory of their brothers George, Edward, and Alexander. The brothers were early Helena businessmen and Alexander was a first major investor in this district.  The City of Helena used the $16,124 trust to purchase the lots and create the park. Originally it included a wading pool, drinking fountain, and benches. The intent was to establish a recreational “beauty spot” and a favorable first impression for railroad travelers. Beattie Park is still one of Helena’s most attractive retreats. After the Northern Pacific retired its steam locomotives in the mid-1950s, the widely used 1902 S-4 Class “workhorse” came to rest here.

Images

Beattie Memorial Park
Beattie Memorial Park Beattie Memorial Park. Overview of the park from the "Beattie Park" sign, facing north to northeast near the corner of Helena Avenue and North Roberts Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: Feb. 2020
Beattie Memorial Park
Beattie Memorial Park Beattie Memorial Park. View of the park from the "Helena Railroad Depot Historic District" sign, facing north to northwest on Helena Avenue. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: Feb. 2020
Beattie Memorial Park
Beattie Memorial Park Beattie Memorial Park. Overview of the park, facing west to northwest on Helena Avenue. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: Feb. 2020
Beattie Memorial Park
Beattie Memorial Park Beattie Memorial Park. Overview of the park, facing northeast to east on North Roberts Street with a view of the old railroad depot on Helena Avenue in the Helena Railroad Depot Historic District. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: Feb. 2020

Location

Helena Avenue, Railroad Avenue, and North Roberts Street, Helena, Montana | Public

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Beattie Memorial Park,” Historic Montana, accessed April 14, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/760.