Filed Under Virginia City

Territorial Governor's Mansion

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

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.


Territorial Executive Residence, Virginia City
Territorial Executive Residence, Virginia City View looking south at building facade Source: Courtesy of Montana Heritage Commission Creator: Kate Steeley, Montana Heritage Commission Date: Oct 2019


116 East Wallace Street, Virginia City, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Territorial Governor's Mansion,” Historic Montana, accessed June 17, 2024,