When President Grant named Benjamin F. Potts of Ohio governor of the Territory of Montana in 1870, it was to this modest home that the new governor came to begin serving his appointment. Virginia City was then the territorial capital, and this small residence served as the “governor’s mansion” for the first three years of Pott’s twelve-year stint (a longer term than any other territorial governor). Potts was a large and powerfully built man, who must have appeared gigantic in this diminutive dwelling. The unassuming frame house, demurely adorned with decorative bargeboards and perched on a terrace bordered by a balustraded stonewall, has changed little since it was built in 1864 by J. M. Lewis. Lewis, who was its first occupant, also built the houses next door on either side.