Dave Armstrong – Historic Dogsledder.   No one spans the breath and depth of Lewis and Clark county’s strong heritage of dog sledding as does Dave Armstrong.  Nor has anyone worked as tirelessly or as long to share that heritage with the community. Dave Armstrong trained soldiers for the War Department’s secret sled dog teams in WWII, was a founder of the area’s famous “Race to the Sky” and for five decades he has lectured, demonstrated, written and otherwise contributed to countless histories, articles and documentaries about his craft. Generations of school children have heard Dave’s presentations and the Montana Military Museum is greatly enhanced by Dave’s work. Truly he deserves recognition for this life-long dedication.

Dave Armstrong and his sled with dogs.

Historic Preservation Award Winners
are people or places that exemplify
excellence in historic preservation,
historic research & writing or
other contributions to local
understanding and appreciation
of historic sites in Helena
and Lewis & Clark County.

Gary and Dot Jenkins on their historic porch.

Gary & Dot Jenkins – 211 8th Refurbishment.   For their dedication to the beautiful home at 211 8th Avenue, for the fine workmanship and care in preserving the original materials of the property and for the years of hard work in the process, the Historic Preservation Commission wishes to say thanks to Gary and Dot Jenkins for their contribution in preserving a significant part of our local history.  Taking their project a year at a time the Jenkinses personally hammered, nailed, shingled and painted to make their landmark home a place of elegant beauty.

Scott Nelson looking over the bridge

The Nelson Family – Saving the Craig Bridge.  Inspired by a unique dream, members of Helena’s Nelson family took on a convoluted and difficult procedure to extract the historic Craig Bridge from its scrap iron fate to a light traffic bridge over Tenmile Creek near the old State Nursery. As three sections of spectacular bridge moved from the Missouri River through Helena, the community saw only part of the story behind saving this historic engineering landmark. Difficulties, roadblocks and a thousand details combined with a small army of officials, technicians and political figures influencing the outcome make for a near-epic historic preservation tale with Scott and Mike Nelson working feverishly at the center to achieve success.

The East Helena school as rehabilitated by the City .

City of East Helena – East Helena Public School /City Hall Conversion.   The City of East Helena has saved a landmark and found a practical solution to a significant problem at the same time by converting the community’s historic public school building into city offices.  Once crammed into a small downtown City Hall, city employees found their workspace inefficient and uncomfortable. When the school board offered the old structure to the City, citizens like Terrie Casey and Mayor Ed Mugel worked to combine the old school’s ample space with City Hall’s critical needs. Today the East Helena Public School building serves the community as its City Hall.

Ellen Baumler

Ellen Baumler – Herb Jacobson Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award.


Perhaps no one in recent years has published so much local history as Ellen Baumler. In the tradition of writer / researchers like Jean Baucus and Vivian Palladin, Ellen has produced a wide variety of material on Helena area history while picking up kudos like a Willa Cather Literary Award finalist and Best Article of the Year in Montana: The Magazine of Western History.


Her broad interests can be determined in the variety of articles in More from the Quarries of Last Chance Gulch and as editor of Girl from the Gulches: The Story of Mary Ronan. It continues in her most recent, Spirit Tailings: Ghost Tales of Virginia City, Butte and Helena, and most recently, Beyond Spirit Tailings: Montana’s Mysteries, Ghosts, and Haunted Places.  Her career has produced a wealth of contributions such as a teacher’s guide to Helena history, a production on the history of the Florence Crittenton Home and innumerable tours, presentations, National Register nominations and lectures. Ellen’s collaboration with IR Editor and former Historic Preservation Award Winner, Dave Shors on Lost Places, Hidden Treasures brings to the community a revealing image of its past.


For this array of works, for the quality of their production and for her dedication to the heritage of Helena and its surrounding area, the Helena/Lewis and Clark County Historic Preservation Commission is pleased to include Ellen Baumler as a Herb Jacobson Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award winner.