125 West Copper

Butte National Historic Landmark District

A row of small one-story dwellings occupied the west half of this block in 1884. By 1900, the James McBride family was in residence. Like most of his immediate neighbors, James was a miner born in Ireland. He and his wife Margaret—a native of Kerry, Ireland—had four children. By 1910, mining had taken its toll leaving Margaret a widow. The family took in boarders and, like many miners’ widows, Margaret worked as a laundress and ironer to support her family. By 1920, she owned the property. After Margaret’s death in 1948, extended family continued housekeeping here into the 1950s. Despite its small size, the frame cottage housed numerous family members on the first floor, in the daylight basement, and in a tiny cabin that once stood at the rear. The unfinished attic also likely served as sleeping space. Although the neighborhood is now much more sparsely populated, the steel headframe towering behind West Copper Street is a sober reminder of the industry that bound its first residents together.



125 West Copper Street, Butte, Montana ~ Private