Joshua and Martha Armitage House

The western gold rushes not only lured miners but entrepreneurs seeking business opportunities. Armed with blacksmithing and wagon-making skills, adventurer Joshua Armitage and his wife Martha arrived at Alder Gulch in December 1863. They moved to Helena in 1867 where the multi-talented Armitage was a placer mining engineer and taught singing. In 1870, the Helena vigilantes appointed Armitage to the jury that convicted Joe Wilson and Arthur Compton of attempted murder. The two were the last of a dozen men hanged on Helena’s infamous Hangman’s Tree. Armitage then served as Blackfeet Indian agent under President U. S. Grant and later as Helena’s police magistrate. As the population boomed with the advent of the Northern Pacific, Armitage rose to prominence in real estate. In 1889, he built this comfortable home in the Montana Avenue Addition he helped to plat. With its steep terrace and commanding view of the Helena valley, the Neoclassical style home reflects conservative taste during a time of Victorian flamboyance. Martha Armitage, a devoted mother of nine and renowned practical nurse, filled this home with music and laughter. But adventure continued to beckon, and the Armitages moved on in 1896. After several owners, Herman Lindstrom bought the property in 1918. A Swedish emigrant, Lindstrom was a skilled carpenter whose sons followed in their father’s footsteps. Their home, too, was filled with music, laughter, and family gatherings. The Lindstroms’ seventy-year tenure established a pattern for the home’s careful preservation. In 2005, daughter Marian Lindstrom Larson returned the original stained glass transom to the current owners. Thus the legacy continues today.

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1117 East Broadway Street, Helena, Montana ~ Private