Montana's Original Governor's Mansion
- Things to See, Museums, Sightseeing and Scenic Tours
- General info
For over a century, the Original Governor’s Mansion has stood as a symbol of Helena’s wealth and political prominence. In 1888 entrepreneur William A. Chessman, built the home for his wife Penelope and their two children. After 1900, railroad contractor Peter Larson and his wife, Margaret resided in the house, followed in 1911 by Harfield and Kathryn Conrad of the influential Conrad family of Great Falls.
The State of Montana acquired the handsome brick mansion in 1913 to serve as the first official governor’s residence. For nearly half a century, Montana’s governors and their families lived here, beginning with Samuel V. Stewart and ending with J. Hugo Aronson.
Restoration of the building began in 1969 with the support of the City of Helena. Since 1981, the Montana Historical Society has administered the Mansion as a historic house museum. Restoration has continued with the assistance of the Original Governor’s Mansion Restoration Board, a dedicated group of local citizen advocates. Guided tours of the Original Governor’s Mansion offer the opportunity to explore a part of Montana’s and Helena’s past.
Private Lives…and Public Roles