Montana's first governor, J. K. Toole, who was also an attorney, commissioned Eugene Fisk to build this magnificent home of locally quarried red porphyry and brick. Fisk added exquisite interior finishings and an unusual simulated tile roof of galvanized metal. The residence served as the executive mansion during Governor Toole's third term, from 1904 to 1908.
The Toole family had been in the residence a short time when a prisoner escaped from the nearby jail and precipitated a gun battle. The escapee attempted to take refuge in the Toole's basement but instead took his own life in the basement stairwell. It is said that Governor Toole's wife held off the escaped prisoner with a broom at the basement door to keep him from entering the residence.
The mansion is situated across the street from the historic Lewis and Clark County Courthouse and County Jailhouse (currently the Myrna Loy Center for the Performing Arts). In the 1960s, the residence housed scores of Cuban refugees who attended Cathedral High School and Carroll College. JMG moved into the building in 1979 and has taken pride in carefully refurbishing and maintaining this elegant landmark.