Western Clay Manufacturing Company Bray House

Enclosed within the walls of this distinguished residence is the one-story log cabin young Charles Bray built for himself during the 1880s. A native of England, Bray came to Helena in 1884 to work for C. C. Thurston, first owner of the adjacent brickworks. A change in owners in 1885 brought Bray a promotion to manager under Nicholas Kessler. Wood-frame additions and upper stories chronicle Bray’s increasing prosperity in the climb from employee to company owner. The peak of the company’s production corresponds to the home’s final building phase—the addition of brick veneer—in the 1920s. Charles lived in the home until his death in 1931, and his widow, Elizabeth, remained until her death in 1955. Grandson Archie, Jr., whose father established the Archie Bray Foundation, lived here managing the brickyard until it closed in 1960.

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2915 Country Club Road, Helena, Montana ~ Private