Henry Hay Homestead
Helena West Main Street Historic District
English immigrants Frances and Henry Hay came to Helena in the mid-1860s and were among the first to settle on West Main where Hay mined a claim. Their log cabin became the center of the present residence, built circa 1870. A switchback path leads to a small mother-in-law house. Hay and neighbors Joseph Poad and Benjamin Benson operated the New Water Company from 1883 until circa 1888 when the City of Helena bought their water rights extending to Reeder’s Alley. Hay ran a fuel business, employing five of his six sons as teamsters. The Hays kept a watering trough out front for teams passing by. The family kept horses and dairy cows in the board-and-batten barn and used the shed as a creamery. Like many of their neighbors, the Hays built the shed into the hillside to keep their dairy products cool. The Hay homestead well represents the self-sufficiency and industry of early Helena pioneers. In 2004, property owner and Hay descendant Margie Broderick, local preservationists, and the Montana Conservation Corps worked together to stabilize the historic barn.