Leander Frary House

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

Dentist-turned-miner Leander W. Frary came to Virginia City with the gold rush to try his luck. He and his wife Alice owned interests in a number of lode claims. Frary, a prominent citizen, was among the founders of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Virginia City in 1866 and served as Treasurer of Montana Territory in 1869. He went back to his profession in the 1870s, practicing dentistry in Helena. Frary died in California in 1911. Deed records show that in 1866 Frary purchased a house and property here on Cover Street for $200. This early home has interesting architectural elements that support a construction date prior to its use as the Frarys’ residence. The structure originally had a small front porch with a central entry door. Two tall, narrow double French doors running to floor level, like the first Greek Revival style storefronts on Wallace Street, flanked the entry. These features suggest a commercial function, consistent with the character of Cover Street in the mid-1860s. The original gingerbread trim remains tucked under the front gable.

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117 West Cover Street, Virginia City, Montana ~ Private