Gulch Fire Tower

Also known as: Guardian of the Gulch
111 S Cruse Street, Helena, MT


The Old Fire Tower, aka the Guardian of the Gulch, was built in 1876 after a huge fire destroyed Helena's downtown area. The 25 foot tower was manned around the clock to keep watch over the city. If a fire was spotted, the alarm was sounded to alert the town to begin fighting a fire. A telephone was installed in the tower on May 1 1878 making it possible for the watchman to instantly alert firefighters in the station and give them directions. The octagonal cab was added in 1886 along with a larger bell from the Jones Bell Company of Troy, New York. It weighed in at 2,121 lbs. and the tower had to be reinforced to support it. An electric alarm box system was installed in 1889 rendering the bell obsolete. This is the last remaining fire tower of the many that once existed in Helena. It is one of only five of its kind left standing in the United States.

Update Log 

  • June 21, 2019: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody