Ellis and Martha Passmore Residence
Butte National Historic Landmark District
Prominent real estate developer Charles Passmore built three homes on this block in 1901, all for family members. Nephew Ellis Passmore, a coal merchant, and his wife Martha lived in this transitional Queen Anne/Colonial Revival style home. Patterned wood shingles decorating the gable end and diamond-shaped insets in the windowpanes echoed the late nineteenth century’s love of ornamentation; the otherwise relatively unadorned residence reflected the new century’s trend toward simplicity. Walter and Armandie Mueller bought this home in 1909. Walter was treasurer for the family-owned Centennial Brewery, which advertised its beer with the slogan “A Million Glasses a Day. Somebody Must Like It.” In 1918, the residence became home to pawnbroker Nathan Netzner and his wife Eva. Part of Butte’s thriving Jewish community, the couple spoke both Yiddish and English. According to local sources, the Netzners constructed a “Prohibition closet” in the basement—a semi-secret room that extended underground beyond the residence’s original foundation. After Nathan died in 1926, Eva took over management of his Owl Loan Service. She continued to live here into the 1940s.