Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sedman House

One of Montana’s best-kept secrets is the Sedman House, a beautifully furnished territorial period home in Nevada City, now under state ownership and maintained by the Montana Heritage Commission. It originally stood in nearby Junction City where it was one of the first large homes built in the region in 1873. Its builder, Madison County rancher and territorial legislator Oscar Sedman, met an unfortunate end. In 1881 during the legislative session in Helena, he suddenly took ill and died of “black measles,” the tick-born disease we know today as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Sedman was the first Montana legislator to die during a session. He left a wife and four small children. His colleagues paid him tribute by draping his official chair in black crepe, turning it backwards to face the wall. After Oscar’s death, two of the Sedmans’ four children died. Mrs. Sedman remarried and moved to Missoula.

Sedman House, June 12, 2009
Photo by E.L. Malvaney via Flickr
The Sedmans’ lovely home later became the Junction Hotel. After that, it served as a stable. Charles Bovey disassembled the badly deteriorated building and moved it a mile and a half to Nevada City where he put it back together. The home today is a focal point. The period furnishings include the desk of vigilante prosecutor Wilbur Fisk Sanders and Colonel Charles Broadwater’s personal gold-trimmed bathtub from his private suite at the far-famed Broadwater Hotel. A visit to the Sedman House in Nevada City is well worth it.

From Montana Moments: History on the Go
P.S. This weekend would be an especially good opportunity to visit the Sedman House.

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