During the 1870s this neighborhood, like much of early Helena, was the site of extensive hydraulic mining operations. But by 1883 when the Northern Pacific Railroad reached Helena, its gold had played out. William Chessman and Joseph Davis found their mining claims had new value as real estate and began platting several Helena additions. One of the first to build in the Chessman-Davis Central Addition was David Cuthbert, whose wife Anna was Mrs. Chessman’s sister. In 1866, Cuthbert established one of Helena’s first drug stores, but lost his uninsured business in the great fire of 1869. He subsequently served as county commissioner, territorial auditor, Helena school board clerk, and postmaster. As the Cuthberts began building this residence in 1885, the local newspaper tracked its progress to completion that fall. The Weekly Herald declared that “…the design is as handsome as it is peculiar.” Indeed, heavy porch columns and a third-story brick balconette wall with arched openings lend an unusual appearance to the standard Queen Anne style features. These atypical elements and Colonial Revival style windows on the northeast bay reveal the sophistication of the home’s unknown architect. Ten-foot ceilings, a formal hall, and a wrapped stairway highlight the elegant, spacious interior. Beautiful Craftsman style woodwork, added after the turn of the twentieth century, graces much of the first floor. Although Cuthbert died in 1891, his landmark home has long anchored the neighborhood, setting the standard for other fine residences scattered along the block today.

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602 North Ewing Street, Helena, Montana ~ Public