When it comes to history, Emily Mayer says, “A picture is a poor substitute for something you can touch.” Her love of old things led her to buy two Victorian-style homes in Havre, both of which were owned by prominent families in the city’s past. The historic Matthews House and the Boone Cottage are both part of Mayer’s High Line Heritage House Museum. For a small fee, history enthusiasts can visit both homes and learn some of the interesting things that have happened in these beautiful old homes over the last century.
Visitors are given a full tour of the Matthews House’s ground floor where they are told about the way in which the family lived. Mayer says that much like you’d see on the show Downton Abbey, the owners spent the majority of time upstairs and in the main floor’s public rooms while the servants worked in the kitchen.
The tour ends in the Boone Cottage, where Daniel Boone (a relative of the famous Daniel Boone) and his family lived. Boone’s Drug Store can be seen a few blocks away at the Havre Beneath the Streets Museum, and Mayer encourages all who are interested to see how the family lived and worked for a better understanding of the era.
All funding from tours and book sales goes toward restoration of the historic homes. One day, Mayer would like to turn the Matthews House into a bed & breakfast but for now she is content sharing the history with those who share her interests. “There’s a Jethro Tull song called ‘Living in the Past.’ That’s me and I’m loving it,” says Mayer.
The High Line Heritage House Museum is located at 124 3rd Street in Havre. (Emily Mayer also offers Historic Havre Strolls and History Among the Headstones tours.) For more information, call (406) 399-5225.