Robert and Elizabeth Fisk House

319 N. Rodney St., Helena, Montana

Photos 

Robert and Elizabeth Fisk House

View from northwest

Photo taken by David Jones in May 2019

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Map 

Description 

"Robert E. Fisk came to Montana with the 1866 Fisk Expedition organized by his famous wagon-master brother, James. The two brothers and other partners established the Helena Herald in November 1866. Robert, who was a printer before the Civil War, served as editor. The following year he married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Chester in Connecticut. The newlyweds returned to Montana via the steamboat Little Rock. In its cargo were new printing presses and 116 bundles of newsprint. The Fisks brought Yankee Republicanism to Helena and both Robert and Lizzie were at the forefront of the political and social scenes. The Fisk brothers’ Helena Herald influenced Helena’s rise to territorial capital, achieved in 1875. In September 1870 Robert gifted this corner lot to Lizzie who pronounced it “one of the prettiest building sites in town.” Lizzie’s letters to her family back east provide details of the home-building. The Fisks completed the core of their residence in 1871, but before they left for California in 1902, the couple had expanded the home several times. The most significant renovation was in the mid-1890s when the Fisks built both a third story and the south addition. The home appears today as it did when the six Fisk children and extended family filled it. Lovely bay windows, simple rounded porch columns, and a hand-carved entry with original beveled glass reflect the period. Inside, conversion to apartments has not diminished the Victorian-era ambiance Lizzie carefully created. Original 1891 chandeliers, hardwood floors, and wood finishing are a credit to the fine details she documents in her correspondence." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 17, 2007
Reference number
06001248
NR name
Fisk, Robert and Elizabeth, House
Architectural styles
Victorian: Queen Anne; Other architectural type; Folk Victorian
Areas of significance
Community Planning and Development; Social History
Level of significance
Local
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; B - Person
Property type
Building
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Multiple dwelling
Current function
Multiple dwelling
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924; 1925-1949; 1950-1974
Significant years
1871; 1955

Tags 

19th Century (37,522)
A.J. Fisk (1)
Brick (42,462)
Built 1871 (409)
Built during 1870s (4,981)
Elizabeth Chester Fisk (1)
Helena, Montana (51)
House (27,432)
Lewis and Clark County, Montana (120)
Montana (2,084)
Private owner (54,396)
Queen Anne (5,094)
Robert E. Fisk (1)
Stone (26,161)
Victorian (19,697)

Update Log 

  • August 1, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information
  • May 6, 2019: New photos from David Jones

Sources