A small rectangular gabled dwelling built against a one-room log cabin stood on this spacious corner in the 1870s. The property had changed hands several times when Austrian immigrant Franz Koch, a bookbindery foreman, purchased it in the late 1880s. His German wife, Meta, was a skilled seamstress who ran a dressmaking business from the home. Such “cottage industries” were common in this closeknit neighborhood, where German was a primary language. Both Meta and Franz were talented actors who delighted audiences at the Ming Opera House. By 1895, additions incorporating the original log structure gave the home its present floorplan, and the entrance shifted from Davis to State (formerly Bridge) Street. The Koch family planted lasting roots in the neighborhood, which has since nurtured four generations of descendants. The home remains in the family today, a tribute to Helena’s immigrant settlers who helped shape the early community.