123 North Main Street

Butte National Historic Landmark District

Cast-iron pilasters, a metal cornice, interior hardwood paneling and a pressed metal ceiling are reminders of the varied remodelings of this early commercial building, constructed before 1884. In 1895, architect H. M. Patterson remodeled the building for $5,000, adding a cast-iron storefront. By 1910, Clerke’s Clothing Store occupied both this building and the one next door. Store president Samuel Clerke installed the metal cornice joining the two buildings. During the 1930s at this address Butte’s immensely popular Spokane Cafe served a sizeable clientele. The building’s most significant use, however, occurred in 1905. During that year the Woman’s Protective Union (W.P.U.), predecessor of today’s Hotel and Restaurant Employees International Union and the nation’s first union for women, met upstairs. This pivotal organization was founded in Butte in 1893 so that women would not “…be behind their brothers in demanding their rights.”

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123 North Main Street, Butte, Montana ~ Private