Henry Blake House (John Reed Residence)

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

Situated prominently along once-busy Idaho Street, this home is one of Virginia City’s earliest frame dwellings. The two-story portion—its windows capped by original wooden pediments—dates from 1864. Attorney and later Supreme Court judge Henry Blake bought the property in 1866 and lived here briefly before his marriage in 1870. Miner John Reed was a longtime owner. Reed came west from Pennsylvania to join the Colorado gold rush in 1859. He arrived in Montana in time to join the rush to Alder Gulch in June 1863. Reed walked here from Bannack with 60 pounds of provisions. He and his partners founded the famous Highland District, which produced more than $1 million in gold dust. Reed married Clara Hathaway, the widow of a business partner. Mrs. Hathaway’s husband died when a runaway team threw his sleigh over an embankment. The Reeds spent their entire married life in the home, from 1882 until John’s death in 1912. They expanded the house onto adjacent lots with materials likely salvaged from pre-existing homes. The home had assumed its present appearance by 1904.

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East Idaho Street, Virginia City, Montana ~ Private