Scattered wooden markers, tall marble obelisks, and iron fences enclosing family plots memorialize the pioneers who rest in this early burial ground. Lewis and Clark County established the cemetery in 1870. In 1875, remains from the original mining camp cemetery on Warren Street were disinterred and moved to Benton Avenue; a few of these graves date to the 1860s. Benton Avenue then became Helena’s main nonsectarian, Protestant burial ground. Frequent interments continued through the 1890s. Among the prominent Helenans buried here are John Kinna, Helena’s first mayor; Lewis Reeder, the builder of Reeder’s Alley; and Edwin Toole, brother of the state’s first governor. Masons, a cornerstone of the state's foundation, are a strong presence in the northeast section. Stones predating statehood are often designated M.T. (for Montana Territory), and graves of veterans from all branches of the service represent varied military experience. Poignant memorials to children speak to the heavy toll of epidemics in the early community. After 1900, few placed loved ones in this simple pioneer burial ground. The iron fence, added in 1928, marks the symbolic end of Benton Avenue’s active history. By 1966, when Helenan Lucy Baker organized volunteers to preserve the cemetery, it was a tangle of neglect and debris. In 1998, the newly reorganized Benton Avenue Cemetery Association took the lead in recognizing and maintaining this Helena landmark. Under its leadership in 2003, Lucy Baker’s dream of National Register listing came to fruition.