Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
'C' you later, 'H': Mount Helena letter gets a mysterious makeover
alert

'C' you later, 'H': Mount Helena letter gets a mysterious makeover

{{featured_button_text}}

The hillside letter towering over Helena on the side of Mount Helena mysteriously changed from an "H" to a "C" during graduation weekend. 

Brad Langsather, opens lands manager for the city of Helena, said this kind of mountain makeover is not an uncommon prank, and the city always changes the letter back to an "H". 

While Capital High School students have been known to make the change in past years as part of a friendly rivalry with Helena High School, CHS Principal Brett Zanto couldn't say whether it was the handiwork of his school's senior class this time around. 

The "H" has been on the mountain since 1924 and was formerly managed by the Helena High School H-Club.

In 1966, the staff from the Helena High Vigilante yearbook pulled off an epic photographic feat resulting in this double exposure that graced the cover of the 1967 yearbook. According to Helena as She Was, the project took three photographers positioned throughout town and a small army of students and advisers to pull off the double exposure.

This double-exposure photo, taken in the autumn of 1966 for the cover of the 1967 HHS Vigilante yearbook, was quite a feat by the yearbook staff.

This double-exposure photo, taken in the autumn of 1966 for the cover of the 1967 HHS Vigilante yearbook, was quite a feat by the yearbook staff.

In 1986, Bob Batch tried to rekindle the annual tradition of lighting up the "H" with 400 flares. That tradition went dormant in 1973.

A 1986 Independent Record newspaper clipping.

A 1986 Independent Record newspaper clipping.

At some point the tradition switched from letters to numbers celebrating the year of the graduating class. In 1996 the numbers got flipped.

A 1996 Independent Record newspaper clipping.

 A 1996 Independent Record newspaper clipping.

In 2015, it was actually a group of Capital High Seniors who touched up the crumbling 'H.'

Mount Helena 'H' gets facelift

Capital High senior class officials Jay Deaton, Justin Dinghman and Scotty Tilton climb up to retrieve waste from the freshly painted 'H' on Mount Helena Friday after a group of Capital High seniors rehabilitated the fading letter on the mountainside.

The lettering has drawn a lot of conversation in the IR's opinion pages over the years as well.

In 1978, Helena High students wrote in to criticize the Capital High students who botched the letter switch. 

A 1978 Independent Record opinion page clipping.

A 1978 Independent Record opinion page clipping.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s there was a lot of debate about keeping the "H," adding a "C," or even getting rid of the lettering altogether. 

A 1997 Independent Record newspaper clipping.

A 1997 Independent Record newspaper clipping.

A 2000 Independent Record newspaper clipping.

A 2000 Independent Record newspaper clipping.

Thom Bridge can be reached at Thom.bridge@helenair.com

4
9
1
1
5

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News