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Monday, May 06, 2019

HELENA - Montana's State Capital

 The Cathedral of St Helena.

The Montana State Capitol.

We enjoyed spending two nights in Helena. It is the capital of the state - but it was one time the richest per capita city in the world. Helena has about 20,000 people and is one of the smallest capital cities in the USA. A gold rush brought people to Helena. Out of the mines under this small city came $6 billion worth of gold. Gold is still being found there. 

When Montana became a state in 1892 - Helena was chosen because it was so rich. They built a lavish capitol and cathedral. The cathedral rivals some of the best in Europe. It certainly has the most stained glass I have ever seen.  It is still in perfect condition. The door was open - we walked in - we had it to ourselves. 

The legislature meets 90 days every other year. Their capitol houses the House - the Senate - the Supreme Court - and the Governor. We were pretty alone there - and had lunch in the cafeteria. The cafeteria manager sat down to lunch with us. She was interested in folks from Florida. We got talking about race - and she told us there is interracial marriage there. To our surprise she was talking about her son and the big Chinese community in town. Railroad and mine labor came from China. 

The coolest place is the Last Chance Gulch - a renovated shopping district in the gulch where gold was found. We found the quaintest soda fountain there - The Parrot. 

We had two pretty sunny days in Helena - 60s - the weather is everything there.

The House.

Indian kids touring the Capitol.

The lovely dome.
 The Senate.

 Lovely Capitol bathroom.

 Montana paintings.

Beautiful white marble steps.
 Jeanette Rankin - only voter against WWII.

 St Helena Catherdral

So much stained glass from Germany.
 When built Helena was the richest city per capita.

 Stained glass.

 Gold miners cabin.

 Inside the Parrot soda fountain.

 Look at that candy.

 We had ice cream sundaes.

The Last Gulch.

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