Helena Montana 2006-1-.jpg

Helena is the capital city of the U.S. state of Montana and the county seat of Lewis and Clark County. The town was founded after the discovery of gold in 1864 as a camp called "Last Chance".

Helena in Southern Victory[]

Helena was founded in 1864 when gold was discovered within the territory. Many people came west to Helena to find their fortune in the aftermath of the US loss in the War of Secession, and the Economic Crash of 1863.[1]

By 1881, the town had become one of the major boom towns, with an abundance of gold mines. There was a sharp contrast between the rich and the poor, though those who travelled from the bottom all the way to the top were respected.

During the Second Mexican War, former President, Abraham Lincoln was expelled from the Utah Territory and travelled north to Helena. While speaking to the locals, the miners, laborers and under class rioted at his words, causing great damage to the town before it was put down.[2]

After the British Empire began to put pressure on the US to quit the war, a combined British and Canadian invasion force crossed the border with Helena as its intended goal. Fortunately, they were defeated and routed at the Teton river before they could get close to the city.[3]

Helena in Supervolcano[]

Helena was completely covered by ash from the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano. Like other such cities, those who could escape did so early. Those who hadn't, died of Hypertrophic Pulmonary Osteoarthropathy. Some six years after the eruption, Geoff Rheinburg, Kelly Ferguson and a team of geologists explored Helena. They saw some minor signs of life returning, including weeds and rodent tracks, and heard at least one raven. Rheinburg likened the ash-covered ghost town to the broken monument described in the poem Ozymandias.[4]


  1. How Few Remain, pgs. 37-43, generally.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 578.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 478-491.
  4. Things Fall Apart, pgs. 236-240.