Wills Residence

Butte-Anaconda Historic District

Functional two-story boarding houses and small working-class homes lined the streets and alleys of Anaconda’s east side in the early 1890s. An exception to the neighborhood’s general character was this Queen Anne style residence. Fred and Mary Wills, who had the ornate home built in 1896, may have chosen the location for its proximity to Fred’s bakery and grocery business. A year earlier, Fred and partner J. B. Gnose constructed the substantial Wills and Gnose Block at 409-411 East Park, a short walk from here. If the location was not particularly fashionable, the home certainly was. The one-and-one-half-story residence features a welcoming wraparound porch and an enthusiastic jumble of roof shapes, including a truncated, domed tower and several gabled dormers. A Gothic arch shades the recessed front dormer window and the semicircular arch frames the second-story balcony. Ornamental shingles decorate the base of the tower and the second-story porch. The Wills lived here only until 1903, when they sold the residence to prominent Anaconda builder and businessman William Weiss. Tenants occupied the home in the 1910s and 1920s.

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401 East 3rd Street, Anaconda, Montana ~ Private