Lewis And Clark Library

120 South Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT 59601

The mission of the Lewis and Clark Library is to provide the best possible services and materials for informational, cultural, or recreational use by the community.

In 1868, a number of prominent Helena citizens formed the Helena Library Association and established Helena's (and Montana's) first public library--four years after gold was discovered on Last Chance Gulch. Judge Cornelius Hedges, Colonel Wilbur F. Sanders, J.W. Whitlach, and Ben Stickner, Jr., solicited subscriptions, drafted a constitution, and set up the library in the first floor of the Whitlach Building. This would be the first of many homes.

From 1870 to 1874 the library was housed in a stone and brick building owned by Holter and Hedges on the west side of Main Street. In 1874, fire destroyed much of the Helena business section, including the library. Over 2,500 volumes and all the important donor records and documents from those first important years were lost to us forever.
Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster
Please use "Flag This Place" to alert us about content that is inappropriate or needs immediate attention. Nothing you submit will be shared with other site visitors.

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Helena
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner