Filed Under Butte

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.

Images

Trinity Methodist Church Trinity Methodist Church (PAc 91-51 B5 RollBS01 F14). Front to side view of the building, facing west to northwest on the corner of North Main Street and West La Platte Street. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Brian Shovers Date: 1984
Trinity Methodist Church, Walkerville, MT View of facade Source: iPhone 8 image capture, jpeg Creator: Martha Kohl, photographer Date: May 28, 2021

Location

971 North Main Street, Butte, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Trinity Methodist Church,” Historic Montana, accessed December 1, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/1977.