Big Sky Chronicles: historic Helena sign restored

HELENA- Two Helena area families worked to restore a historic ghost sign over the Labor Day weekend.

Ghost signs are old hand painted advertising that has been preserved beyond the life of the business.

The Palmquist Electric Company outdoor sign on Last Chance Gulch received rehabilitation from the Palmquist and Wahle families.

The families contracted with Nancy Bennett. Bennett specializes in old outdoor sign rehab. Bennett previously worked on the Eddy’s Bread sign in 2012.

Palmquist Electric Company was founded in the 1920s by Ernie Palmquist and was a staple of the community for more than half a century before it was sold in 1978.

Ernie’s grandson Jock Palmquist says that the rehabilitated signs help preserve an important part of Helena.

“I think it’s important for the city of Helena to have a downtown area with some historical significance. And the families all agreed that this would be a great thing for Helena and for our family to remember our grandfather,” said Palmquist

The Palmquist and Wahle families also wanted to thank Kevin Keeler for his guidance and say the project couldn’t have been done without him.