“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Helena in Lewis and Clark County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Gilpatrick/Root House

Helena Historic District

Gilpatrick/Root House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 15, 2021
1. Gilpatrick/Root House Marker
Inscription.  The steamboat Alone brought Stephen Gilpatrick to Montana on the cusp of the 1863 gold rush to Alder Gulch. When mining proved a disappointment, Gilpatrick moved on to Last Chance where he and a partner established the camp’s first stationery store. Marriage in 1867 to Luella Fergus, daughter of well-known pioneer James Fergus, brought the newlyweds to live in a miner’s cabin. Known today as the Pioneer Cabin, it is Helena’s oldest documented dwelling. In 1875, the Gilpatricks built this home, originally a simple brick cottage with gingerbread trim. It was one of the first in the neighborhood, and friends protested that the Gilpatricks were “moving to the country” to build so far from town. The couple raised four sons and Stephen’s community service included terms as a commissioner during Helena’s incorporation, county sheriff, county assessor, and school board chairman. In 1902, the Gilpatricks held the funeral of James Fergus, first president of the Society of Montana Pioneers, in this home. On New Year’s Day 1931, the couple celebrated their sixty-fourth wedding anniversary. Their fabled romance ended with Luella’s death in February. Stephen
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sold the property to Swedish immigrant John Root and his wife, Jennie. John, like the Gilpatricks, was an early-day Helena resident who ran a successful confectionery and clothing store. Many a prospector had Root to thank for his “grubstake.” The Roots remodeled the Gilpatricks’ Victorian-era home into a stylish Cotswold cottage. Although its original footprint, roofline, and window placements remain intact, the updated style reflects architectural trends of the twentieth century.
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable BuildingsSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
Location. 46° 35.583′ N, 112° 2.567′ W. Marker is in Helena, Montana, in Lewis and Clark County. Marker is on Dearborn Avenue near Power Street when traveling north. This property is located in Helena's historic Mansion District. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 604 Dearborn Avenue, Helena MT 59601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Boyer/Hawkins Residence (within shouting distance of this marker); Western Life Insurance Company (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line);
Gilpatrick/Root House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 15, 2021
2. Gilpatrick/Root House Marker
Olsen House (about 600 feet away); Palmquist Residence (about 600 feet away); YWCA (about 700 feet away); George Grossberg Residence (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tatem-Young Residence (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tracy-Power Residence (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Helena.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 7, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 88 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 7, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 13, 2024