Filed Under Helena

Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence

Robert E. Fisk came to Montana with the 1866 Fisk Expedition organized by his famous wagon-master brother, James. The two brothers and other partners established the Helena Herald in November 1866. Robert, who was a printer before the Civil War, served as editor. The following year he married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Chester in Connecticut. The newlyweds returned to Montana via the steamboat Little Rock. In its cargo were new printing presses and 116 bundles of newsprint. The Fisks brought Yankee Republicanism to Helena and both Robert and Lizzie were at the forefront of the political and social scenes. The Fisk brothers’ Helena Herald influenced Helena’s rise to territorial capital, achieved in 1875. In September 1870 Robert gifted this corner lot to Lizzie who pronounced it “one of the prettiest building sites in town.” Lizzie’s letters to her family back east provide details of the home-building. The Fisks completed the core of their residence in 1871, but before they left for California in 1902, the couple had expanded the home several times. The most significant renovation was in the mid-1890s when the Fisks built both a third story and the south addition. The home appears today as it did when the six Fisk children and extended family filled it. Lovely bay windows, simple rounded porch columns, and a hand-carved entry with original beveled glass reflect the period. Inside, conversion to apartments has not diminished the Victorian-era ambiance Lizzie carefully created. Original 1891 chandeliers, hardwood floors, and wood finishing are a credit to the fine details she documents in her correspondence.  

Images

Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence
Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence. Front view of the house, facing east on North Rodney Street near the corner of Rodney and 7th Avenue. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Kate Hampton Date: Sept. 2006
Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence
Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence. Front view of the house, facing east to southeast near the corner of North Rodney and 7th Avenue. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Kate Hampton Date: Sept. 2006
Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence
Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence. Rear/side view of the house, facing west to southwest from the sidewalk on 7th Avenue. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Kate Hampton Date: Sept. 2006
Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence
Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence. Rear view of the house, facing west from the driveway situated parallel to North Rodney Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Kate Hampton Date: Sept. 2006
Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence
Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence. Front/side view of the house, facing east to southeast on the corner of North Rodney Street and 7th Avenue. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Kate Hampton Date: Sept. 2006

Location

319 North Rodney Street, Helena, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Robert and Elizabeth Fisk Residence,” Historic Montana, accessed April 15, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/802.