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Location: On I-15, halfway between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, about 180 miles each way. Population: 28,000. Visitor Information: Helena Tourism Alliance, 105 Reeders Alley, 59601; Phone: (406) 449-2107; Website: www.helenamt.com
From its beginnings in 1864 as a gold camp, Helena became the state capital and one of the richest cities in the US. By 1888, Helena was home to about 50 millionaires, more per capita than any city in the world. About $3.6 billion (in today's dollars) of gold was taken from Last Chance Gulch over a 20-year period. This large concentration of wealth was the basis for developing the city’s fine Victorian neighborhoods and ambitious architecture, as well as a thriving red light district that didn’t die out until 1973.