U. S. Assay Office, 206 Broadway Street, Helena, Lewis and Clark County, MT
See 16 maps of this location
Photo Caption Pages
206 Broadway Street, Helena, MT
Find maps of Helena, MT
Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS MT-26
Building/structure dates: 1875 initial construction
Significance: The large volume of gold and silver mined in the Montana Territory prompted the Treasury Department to build a United States Assay Office close to the source. Funds were appropriated by Act of Congress on May 12, 1874. The handsome red brick two-story structure was designed by A.B. Mullett, Supervising Architect for the Treasury Department, who also designed the old San Francisco Mint Building and the State, War and Navy Building in Washington, D.C. It was completed under the direction of Mullett's successor, William Appleton Potter. Russell B. Harrison, great-grandson of William Henry Harrison (the 9th president of the United States) and son of Benjamin Harrison (who would serve as 23rd president of the United States, 1889-1892), was appointed Superintendent of the Assay Office in November, 1878. He served in this position until he resigned in November, 1885. A government report of 1919 indicated that the business transacted in the Helena Assay Office, one of five in the country, was exceeded only by the receipts of the Seattle office. Activity declined after that, however, and the Helena Assay Office closed July 1, 1934.
Mullett, A. B.
Potter, William Appleton
Harrison, Russell B.
Sanders, Wilbur Fisk
DeHaas, John N., Historian
Silverman, Eleni, Historian
Huntsman, Al, Photographer
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
1. PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF MAIN (SOUTH) AND EAST ELEVATIONS
2. VIEW FROM THE NORTHEAST LOOKING TOWARD THE REAR OF THE ASSAY OFFICE AND SMALL ADDITION
3. Photocopy of photograph (Original in collection of the Historical Society of Montana) PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF MAIN AND WEST ELEVATIONS
4. Photocopy of photograph (Original in collection of the Historical Society of Montana) VIEW OF THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE ASSAY OFFICE, UNDER CONSTRUCTION
5. Photocopy of photograph (Original in collection of the Historical Society of Montana) VIEW TAKEN DURING CONSTRUCTION, SHOWING FIRST FLOOR NEARLY COMPLETED
6. Photocopy of photograph (Original in collection of the Historical Society of Montana) INTEIOR VIEW OF ASSAYING EQUIPMENT
Back to Helena, Montana