East Helena was named for its location in relation to Helena. The first post office was established in 1888 with Henry Clark in charge. Many of the settlers came to this area after the 1900s. East Helena is part of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. Gold, silver, lead, zinc, and other metals from Montana and Idaho are shipped to reduction furnaces here. This is one of Montana's three major operating smelters. Inquire for permission to visit this smelter; see its four furnaces with annual capacity of 1/4 million tons of ore. These furnaces have operated since 1889. The ASARCO smelter is the lone remaining custom lead smelter in the U.S.
East Helena is located in western Montana, four miles east of Helena, on U.S. Highway 12.