820 North Main

Butte National Historic Landmark District

Built into the hill, so that the second story is level with the ground, this two-and-one-half-story structure dominates the block. By 1900 the first floor housed a saloon and billiards parlor as well as a small residence. The second floor also served as a dwelling. By 1916, the building accommodated four apartments, whose residents included Ruth Barnicoat. Ruth moved here after her husband, a miner, died of pericarditis myocarditis a heart infection, possibly brought on by tuberculosis, a disease common to Butte miners. Tasked with supporting children ages sixteen to four, Ruth purchased this income-producing property; she and the children lived in one apartment and rented out the other three. The building still contained four apartments in 1957, when Bud Aschenbrenner, a shift boss, and his wife Lillian, a switchboard operator at St. James Hospital, purchased it. Bud worked at the neighboring Mountain Con Mine; at times, he tunneled directly under the house. Both Bud and Lillian lived here until their deaths in 1980 and 2007, respectively. The residence’s most prominent feature—its two-story wraparound porch—is not historic, but was rebuilt to match the original pattern.

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820 North Main Street, Butte, Montana ~ Private