After gold was discovered in the meandering creek that is now Last Chance Gulch, thousands of miners flocked to Helena, and hundreds of businesses popped up overnight. While other mining towns boomed then disappeared, Helena, Montana, evolved into political, economic and social prominence because of a mix of location, effort and luck. When other towns began to crumble, those residents and resources gravitated towards Helena’s well established infrastructure. In 1864, Helena became the territorial capital of Montana, shaping the urban landscape of today.
Helena’s century old downtown core provides a density of municipal revenue that is unparalleled. This lesson was replicated successfully in the Great Northern development area via a public-private partnership. Helena will do well to strive to maximize this knowledge in the Capitol area.
City Manager, City of Helena