Thomas Francis Meagher Residence

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

General Thomas Francis Meagher, political activist in his native Ireland and American Civil War hero, stepped into a political maelstrom when he came to Montana in September 1865. As the first territorial secretary appointed by President Andrew Johnson, Meagher soon became acting governor and lived here on Idaho Street during his tenure in the territorial capital. He was a brilliant orator and a dashing, controversial figure amongst stormy partisan loyalties. Meagher’s career ended abruptly when he mysteriously disappeared from the deck of a steamship at Fort Benton on July 1, 1867. His widow searched the river’s edges in vain for his body, but his fate remains unknown. With her husband’s whereabouts unresolved, Mrs. Meagher purchased their Virginia City home and returned East. The landmark dwelling burned circa 1905. Charles Bovey reconstructed the residence of square-hewn logs on its original site in 1945. The Helena Ancient Order of Hibernians, Thomas Francis Meagher Division, adopted and will maintain this important residence.

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Idaho Street, Virginia City, Montana