Recently, we had a story about a beautiful Montana ranch for sale and one of the comments on social media said basically (without profanity) "Someone from out-of-state will buy it." Someone from out-of-state would likely buy a property like that, but it wasn't always the case that wealth came from outside Montana.

The immediate assumption might be that the wealth in Montana was concentrated in Butte, and for a time, it looked that way.

Butte Montana
Photo by Colter Olmstead on Unsplash

According to Wikipedia, in 1889 Butte was "the most populous city of Montana" and "mining operations in Butte generated an 'almost inconceivable' output of $23 million worth of ore." Of course, Butte also has the nickname "The Richest Hill On Earth" but that was because of the potential natural resources, not necessarily the people who lived on the hill.

Read More: Gorgeous Ranch With Natural Transformations For Sale in Montana

But one Montana town had the most millionaires per capita in 1888, close to the same time that Butte saw its population climb, but it wasn't Butte. It was Helena.

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1888: Montana Town With the Most Millionaires Per Capita

Similar to Butte, Helena saw a focus on natural resources, but for Helena the resource was gold, and that was what created so many millionaires in one place, according to The Great Falls Tribune. And this wasn't just a measurement of wealth in the United States--this was per capita in the world.

Helena Montana

That led to what is now referred to as "Gold Rush-Era" real estate in Helena, as was the case when a Helena mansion was listed for sale this past summer. Helena's historic district was influenced by the gold rush, but you can read about several events that affected the town and that area during the late 1800s here.

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