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Keeping Helena history alive

2008-01-02T00:00:00Z Keeping Helena history aliveIR staff - 1/2/08 Helena Independent Record
January 02, 2008 12:00 am  • 

We were glad to see that the Lewis and Clark Historical Society isn't letting the 24-year-old book "Helena: An Illustrated History" by Vivian Paladin and Jean Baucus go out of print.

The book, first published by the Montana Historical Society in 1983, is a fascinating look at where Helena has come from, and it would have a shame to let it fade away, hard to find for a newer generation of Helenans. It will be available this month, complete with a new cover painting by Bob Morgan.

News of the reprinting led us to our IR newsroom bookshelf, where we dug out three more historical books by Jean Baucus: Two volumes named "Helena: Her Historic Homes," published in the late 1970s with many drawings of the city's most impressive Victorian houses, and "Gold in the Gulch," a 1981 book filled with text and photos of significant downtown-area buildings dating from the city's earliest days.

Each also is pleasure to read, giving us a nostalgic view of a Helena that is no more as well as a look at buildings that are still standing in their historic settings.

Baucus, now 90, has had her eye on history all her life -- a life that itself has covered a large fraction of Helena's past -- always collecting historic photos since her high school days. Paul Putz, city-county historian, called "Helena: An Illustrated History" the "flagship history of Helena" that has "withstood the test of time." We congratulate her and the local historical society for keeping that work alive.

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