Anna Lyon House / McKeen Place

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

Martin and Anna Lyon came to Virginia City by covered wagon in 1864 and settled into this small dwelling. Martin, a successful tailor, was on his way home in January of 1865 when thieves attacked and fatally struck him over the head. A blizzard prevented discovery of his body until three days later. He was buried on boot hill at the same time as three outlaws and due to this confusion, his grave was unmarked. Anna kept the family home, supporting her two sons as a domestic and later as a boardinghouse keeper. The 1880 census records that Anna’s eight male boarders included a 14-year-old student, a teacher, three carpenters, a surveyor, and a farmer. Lodgers likely crowded into the small building at the back. In 1905, newlyweds Frank and Amanda McKeen bought the house. Frank was a well-known saloon keeper and proprietor of the Anaconda Hotel (now the Fairweather Inn). This unassuming little dwelling, located on what was once the edge of Virginia City’s Chinatown, is a significant part of the National Landmark.

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Virginia City, Montana ~ Private