Police are investigating the theft of a sign from outside of a historic Helena home.
The sign, outside of 404 N. Benton Ave. — also known as the Christmas Gift Evans house — was reported missing on Friday, according to Helena Police Chief Troy McGee.
The sign and the post holding it were both taken.
The National Register of Historic Places sign is worth about $1,000.
Ellen Baumler, national register sign program coordinator, said this is the first time a sign has been stolen from outside of a historic building in Helena.
“It doesn’t happen very often. People are usually respectful of those,” Baumler said.
The sign, one of about 1,500 in the state, told the story of Evans, a native New Yorker whose unusual name was derived from the day of his birth. Evans came to Helena in 1865 with his partner, John B. Sanford, and established the first water-powered sawmill in the area. Sanford built the home in 1877 and Evans later purchased the property.
“The home is a grand expression of the flamboyant Second Empire style whose brief popularity during the 1870s coincided with the construction of Helena’s first substantial residences,” the sign read. “The bell-cast mansard roof, decorative bracketing and exquisite ornamental iron cresting are noteworthy features of this beautiful, exceptionally well-preserved home.”
Anyone with information on the theft is urged to call Crimestoppers at 443-2000 or leave an anonymous tip via www.helenacs.com.
Reporter Angela Brandt: 447-4078 or firstname.lastname@example.org