East Helena schools celebrate "227 Day"

East Helena Heritage Day.png
Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-29 12:04:24-05

Tuesday, February 27 is East Helena Heritage Day, after all, "2-2-7" has a long history in the city.

“No matter how big this place gets you will never outgrow the small down aspect this place is,” said Tucker Erickson, a rodeo standout whose family roots run deep in the East Helena community.

"227 Day" is a day designated to help recognize the rich history of East Helena and the families who call it home. "227" is the common phone prefix for East Helena.

 East Helena is a town that was built on mining and smelting.

In the 1880s, a lead smelter was built on the banks of Prickly Pear Creek. It was purchased by ASARCO at the turn of the 20th century.

The town grew as smelter operations grew, but the spirit of the community remains strong more than two decades after smelting operations ended.

“I promise you that the individuals who started here, who grew up here, who knew about how this community was beforehand, will still pass that on to the next community,” Erickson said. “Experience throughout this community have impacted my life.”

The school also hosted a 227-meter race with several East Helena High teachers, which they hope to make this an annual tradition.

“I think it’s important for any community to know their background to know their story because you take a lot more pride when you know about your town, when you know about where the community came from and how this area is affected by its history,” said Erickson.