Trinity Methodist Church
Butte National Historic Landmark District
Thousands of skilled miners from Cornwall, England, immigrated to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century as English tin and copper mines played out. Many settled in Butte’s working-class communities. Centerville was home to equal numbers of Cornish, who were mostly Methodists, and Catholics from Ireland. There were two sets of businesses and two churches—one serving each group. By 1884, Centerville’s Cornish residents had formed a Methodist congregation. During the pastorate of Rev. Joel Vigus, the Butte and Boston Mining Company donated the land and this church was built in 1889. In the 1890s, U.S. Senator and former Butte mayor Lee Mantle donated electric lights. Workers added brick veneer, a vestibule, a choir room, and dug a basement to accommodate a fellowship hall. An enduring Cornish tradition is the pasty, a meat pie in a pastry envelope. Carried underground in dinner pails, miners lovingly called it a “letter from ’ome.” Trinity’s fellowship hall hosted many pasty dinners. The simple Gothic style “miner’s church” with its sturdy central tower recalls the Cornish miners and their families, far from home, who worshipped here.