Filed Under Butte

649 to 651 South Main Street

Butte National Historic Landmark District

John Rafferty constructed this five-family flat between 1901 and 1915. A plasterer by trade, he saw Butte’s building boom firsthand and knew that rental properties were in high demand. The two-story walkup has brick arches over the windows and raised brick corbelling along the parapet. Its most prominent feature is its two-story open front porch, with an external staircase leading to the second floor. The design was relatively common. Butte’s high property values meant that builders did not want to waste potential living space on interior hallways. Additionally, the open porches gave even second-floor residents access to the outside. The apartment housed a mix of families. In 1910, Charles and Angeline Laramie had owned their own farm, but in 1920, fifty-three-year-old Charles worked as a laborer. The Laramies lived here with their four children, including two grown sons, both copper miners. Their neighbors in the building included the families of coffeehouse manager Steve Kuelic and bookkeeper Mike Sullivan. Also living here was widow Effie Long and her two grown daughters, Grace a bookstore clerk and Lucretia an insurance examiner.


649-651 South Main Street
649-651 South Main Street 649-651 South Main Street. Front view of the building, facing west on South Main Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Judith Kinney/Jenni Whitney Date: Summer 1984
649-651 S. Main
649-651 S. Main facade Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Bryan Baldwin Date: July 3, 2022


649 to 651 South Main Street, Butte, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “649 to 651 South Main Street,” Historic Montana, accessed June 18, 2024,