Lewis / McKay House
Virginia City National Historic Landmark District
J. M. Lewis built two small frame dwellings and two others to the east atop this terraced ridge in 1864. They were among the town’s first homes to incorporate planed lumber with log construction. By the 1870s, a central addition connected the two separate houses where miner Alex McKay had settled with his wife and two daughters. Scalloped gingerbread and Greek Revival style pediments above the doors and windows relieve the otherwise plain façade while an original log wall remains on the west. Spindled balustrades cap the stone retaining wall that spans this section of Wallace Street. McKay, who came to the United States from Scotland, was among the first settlers at Alder Gulch. His daughter, Flora McKay McNulty, was one of Montana Territory’s first women doctors. Passionately interested in local history, Mrs. McNulty was a founder of the Virginia City Library and helped locate it permanently in the Thompson-Hickman building. Her philanthropy was extended to many young people who went to college with her financial assistance.