Helena, Montana became a place when gold was discovered by “Four Georgians” in a gulch near Prickly Pear on July 14th 1864. The camp they created was known as “Last Chance”. The town grew quickly and by early fall there were 200 souls, more or less living there. A group of seven men met on October 30th 1864, to name the town, lay out streets and elect a governing body.
After several suggestions of names, a Scotsman; John Summerville offered Helena in honor of the town of Helena, Minnesota, with a northern sound to the name. This caused southerners in the room to insist that it be pronounced like the southern town of Helena, Arkansas. It wouldn’t be until 1882 that name settled into what we know today.