"When Montana gained statehood in 1889, the voters chose Helena [as the capital] in a controversial statewide election. The Montana Legislature voted to spend almost half a million dollars on a state capitol building and construction began in 1899. The state Capitol building was opened for use on the Fourth of July, 1902. The story of the Capitol building really begins at the top, with the 'Goddess of Liberty.' It's the statue that stands on the copper dome outside. When Anaconda and Helena were fighting over which city would become the state capital, the men responsible for designing and building the Capitol building ran off with all of the plans and records. During the construction of the Capitol, a statue arrived by railroad from a company back east. Nobody knew what it was for or who had bought it. The statue company's records were destroyed in a fire, so nobody will ever know for sure why the Goddess of Liberty was made. The Capitol builders wanted a statue for their dome so they used this one..."
Submitted by <font face=arial>JW</font>.