Main Street, East Helena, circa 1919
306 East Main
PO Box 1170
East Helena, MT 59635
City of East Helena, Montana
During the 1870s and early 1880s, the stagecoach route between Helena and several gold camps in the Big Belt Mountains passed through East Helena. The Prickly Pear House—a way station that served as a changing point for drivers and horses—was built on the northwest corner of the intersection of Montana Avenue and Main Street in East Helena to provided customers with food and lodging.
East Helena’s current business district was frequently used as a camping area for freight wagons. Northern Pacific Railroad tracks reached East Helena in 1883. The original station, named Prickly Pear Junction, was built a few years before East Helena was founded and was located near the railroad’s crossing of Prickly Pear Creek. The origins of East Helena can be traced back to the mid 1860’s as pioneers were heading west through the Helena Valley.
In 1888, a large lead smelter was built on the banks of Prickly Pear Creek in the Helena Valley by the Helena and Livingston Lead Smelting Company. Prickly Pear Junction became East Helena. In 1898, the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) purchased the 160 acre site. ASARCO operated the smelter until 2001. East Helena grew up around that enterprise. For over a century, the smelter processed 70,000 tons of lead bullion a year, and provided a livelihood for thousands of families.
On August 14, 2009, the ASARCO stacks were felled by dynamite charges, an emotional step in cleaning up the smelter site.
EHPS/Main Street School before the earthquake of 1935
East Helena City Hall is housed in the old EHPS/Main Street School building pictured in
the top right photo.
East Helena is rich in history which you can learn about on our East Helena Historical Society
website: CLICK HERE!
Main Street, East Helena circa 1919
Administrative Phone Number 406.227.5321
Fax Number 406.227.5456
Fire Department Admin Phone Number:
227.5321 / 459.1623
Police Administration phone numbers 406.227.8686
Police Non-emergency requiring assistance 406.227.5377
Emergency Phone number 911
Regular Office Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday through Friday
Official East Helena, Montana website established Martin Luther King Day, 2016