During Virginia City’s mid-1860s boom, residences and businesses crowded along Cover Street. Most commercial buildings were gone by the mid-1880s and the neighborhood became primarily residential. Irish immigrant Phillip Conrey, a rancher and two-term city treasurer, worked extensive Alder Gulch placer claims and built this two-story home in the 1880s. An open porch with turned spindles; tall, narrow windows; and clapboard siding are characteristic of the period. The interior features wood ceilings and an original staircase. A stone section likely predates the house; Conrey probably stored materials from his placer mining operations there. Conrey sold his Ruby Valley ranch for a mere $30,000; investors later dredged the property for gold making millions, much of it bequeathed to Harvard University. After several other owners, Anaconda Hotel owner Amanda McKeen bought the home in 1920. Upon her death in 1923, it passed to a niece. Alta Butler began her forty-year ownership of the home in 1933 after the death of her husband, deputy sheriff William Butler. The appearance of the home has changed little from the 1880s when it first appears in Virginia City photographs.