Historic Helena House decorated for the holidays

HELENA – The Montana Historical Society has decorated the halls of the original governor’s mansion in Helena to bring a little joie de vivre to a historic building.

“Brings home another dimension. It brings it to life for the holidays, ”said Anthony Schrillo, Montana Historical Society history interpreter.

The mansion was built in 1888 and contains the stories of the families and governors who lived at 304 North Ewing St. in Helena. And sprucing up the place with holiday decorations every year, says Schrillo, takes tour guests back in time.

“Well, you know, we think of our visitors, and they’re in the Christmas spirit. And I think when they come here the house has a lot of history, but it comes down to the stories of the people who lived here. And I think when they can hear those that they can relate to in their own life, it kind of fires the imagination, “Schrillo said.

The mansion has two large Christmas trees, one in the living room and one upstairs in what would have been a ballroom, with ornate miniature trees in different rooms. Wreaths and garlands decorate the exterior.

Schrillo says every room in the house feels like stepping back in time.

“When you walk into a room like the living room and tell people that the room was used for good entertainment, they can imagine people sitting in conversation or even on the third floor once it was used as a ballroom,” so imagine musicians playing and having dances up there, ”Schrillo said.

One thing is missing though,

“Snow that will complete the atmosphere,” said Schrillo.

Free tours are on a first come, first served basis with a capacity limited to 15 people. Visiting times are every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tours will not be available on Christmas Day.

The house is at 304 North Ewing Street:

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