Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring Sioux Nation Forts

Pioneer Cabin
212 South Park Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 422-4727
Email: [email protected]

In the fall of 1864, a miner named Wilson Butts staked his claim along Last Chance Gulch by building the snug cabin with large glass windows, the first large glass windows in Helena. Butts added a room when his brother and sister-in-law (Jonas and Luanna) arrived with their three daughters to live with him.

The creek which drew Butts and other miners to Helena no longer flows, having been stopped by an earthquake in the 1930s. Before it disappeared, the creek produced over $60 million in gold.

Today the cabin is furnished to reflect the first three families who lived there; visitors can tour the cabin during the summer. When the cabin is closed, visitors can view the interior through the windows. Tours can be arranged/requested for the time you are in Helena.

The Pioneer Cabin stands as one of the last remaining structures that represents early Helena. It is the only one of its kind in the state of Montana. It also serves as the gateway to Reeder's Alley, the oldest part of Helena.

The garden next to the cabin is available for weddings and parties. Please contact the caretaker to make arrangements.


Pioneer Cabin is located by heading south on Park Avenue out of Helena towards Unionville. It is located at the base of Mount Helena, at the foot of Reeder’s Alley and across the street from the library.

Season of Operation

6/1 - 8/31

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (self-guided), 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (guided tours by appointment)

Services and Amenities

Unescorted Tour
Handicapped Accessible
Public Restroom
Registered Historic Site



Communities and Related Links
Visit Montana

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