826 South Main Street

Butte National Historic Landmark District

The fish scale shingles ornamenting the front gable end reveal the Victorian-era roots of this home, built between 1891 and 1900. The front gable and originally a large wraparound porch added room and elegance to the structure’s core: a basic hipped roof worker’s cottage. In 1900, livestock dealer Stephen Fitchett owned the residence with his wife, Anna. The Charles and Nellie Foley family lived here from 1908 through 1918. As was typical in Butte, the Foley children boarded at home after they went to work. In 1910, nineteen-year-old daughter Winifred worked as a stenographer while seventeen-year-old son Cornelius worked as a “nipper” in the St. Lawrence mine. Also unfortunately typical was the toll mining took on the family. Workplace accidents and disease cut short the lives of many miners. In particular, silicate dust scarred miners’ lungs, making them susceptible to tubercular bacteria, which bred freely in the hot, humid, and poorly ventilated mine shafts. “Miners con” killed approximately a man a day in Butte, including Charles Foley, who died of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1913 at the age of forty-nine.

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826 South Main Street, Butte, Montana ~ Private