Filed Under Helena

Spalding-Gunn House

Helena’s West Side blossomed on the heels of placer mining discoveries. Built on golden fortunes, the grand neighborhood became home to successful entrepreneurs and merchants whose fortunes came from "mining the miners." One of these was Daniel W. Curtiss who established the first local fruit and vegetable farms and amassed much Helena real estate from his profits. In 1876, Curtiss married Sarah E. Griggs who came to Montana with her small daughter, Lena. Daniel died in 1884 leaving Sarah the beneficiary of his holdings, including this land on Clarke Street. Upon her marriage to William S. Spalding in 1888, Sarah engaged John C. Paulsen to design their home. Paulsen served as Montana’s first state architect and designed numerous Montana institutions and Helena homes. Builder George C. Appleton, at the beginning of his stellar career in Helena, headed the construction. During the next decade, Appleton built some two hundred pattern book homes. Both Appleton and Paulsen contributed to the design of the far-famed Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium. Sarah Spalding’s stunning home illustrates Paulsen’s use of local materials. Decorative brickwork, granite trim, the frame upper story, and fishscale shingles demonstrate the Victorian love of mixed surface textures. A trio of small Gothic windows in the dormers, a dramatic two-story canted bay, stained glass transoms, and turned porch posts make the home a grand ambassador of the Queen Anne style. In 1907, Sarah deeded the home to her daughter Lena and her son-in-law Milton S. Gunn, a prominent attorney and district counsel for the Northern Pacific Railway. The Gunns made their home here until 1921.

Images

Spalding-Gunn House, Helena, MT View of north and east elevations with carriage house and fenced garden Source: Courtesy of Pam Attardo, Helena Creator: unknown photographer Date: 1897
Spalding-Gunn House, Helena, MT View of second story north and east elevations Source: Courtesy of Pam Attardo Creator: unknown photographer Date: 1897
Spalding-Gunn House, Helena, MT Interior view looking from inside the parlor toward the library Source: Courtesy of Pam Attardo, Helena Creator: unknown photographer Date: 1897
Spalding-Gunn House, Helena, MT Interior view from library looking into the parlor Source: Courtesy of Pam Attardo, Helena Creator: unknown photographer Date: 1897
Spalding-Gunn House, Helena, MT Interior view looking east into library Source: Courtesy of Pam Attardo, Helena Creator: unknown photographer Date: 1897
Spalding-Gunn House Spalding-Gunn House. Front view of the house and garage, facing south on Clarke Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Kate Hampton Date: Aug. 2006
Spalding-Gunn House Spalding-Gunn House. Front/side view of the house, facing southeast on Clarke Street with the garage in the foreground. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Kate Hampton Date: Aug. 2006
Spalding-Gunn House Spalding-Gunn House. Front/side view of the house, facing southwest on Clarke Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Kate Hampton Date: Aug. 2006
Spalding-Gunn House Spalding-Gunn House. Front view of the house, facing south to southwest on Clarke Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Kate Hampton Date: Aug. 2006
Spalding-Gunn House, Helena, MT View looking south at facade Creator: Pam Attardo, photographer Date: January 2021
Spalding-Gunn House, Helena, MT View looking southwest at east elevation Creator: Pam Attardo, photographer Date: January 2021
Spalding-Gunn House, Helena, MT View looking south-southeast at garage and north elevation Creator: Pam Attardo, photographer Date: January 2021
Spalding-Gunn House, Helena, MT View looking north at south (rear) elevation with back porch entrance Creator: Pam Attardo, photographer Date: January 2021

Location

433 Clarke Street, Helena, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Spalding-Gunn House,” Historic Montana, accessed February 4, 2023, https://historicmt.org/items/show/818.