Lewis / Gohn House

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

During restoration of this modest dwelling, built in 1864 by J. M. Lewis and later owned by the Gohn family, its unusual construction came to light. Hand-planed planks finely crafted with key joints in between, posts of hand-hewn timbers, and ceiling joists notched to the wall plate with half-dovetailed joints allowed construction without nails. The planks are numbered for ease of assembly. This post-and-plank method is similar to period grain mill construction, and it is possible that the building was disassembled elsewhere and freighted here for reuse. Lewis, who also built three identical houses to the west, apparently harbored a well-kept secret. Inscriptions preserved on the interior walls reveal that he and his friends were Union sympathizers in a town of staunch Confederate supporters.



134 East Wallace Street, Virginia City, Montana ~ Private