319 North Montana Street

Butte Historic District

In 1885, dentist Robert Todd and his wife Emma moved into this newly constructed, Italianate style home. Like many early Butte residences, the kitchen was placed at the rear, under a separate, one-story roof to make it easier for bucket brigades to put out kitchen fires. In 1886, the Todds sold to Jesse and Elizabeth Wharton, who lived here with their three children until 1909. Jesse managed the Butte Electric Railway for copper magnate William A. Clark. In 1898, he defended the railway’s practice of transporting ore down Montana Street. While his neighbors complained that the “dreadful ore cars” kept them from sleeping, Jesse insisted that “The noise of the ore cars has a most invigorating effect and lulls me to sleep every night. It is one happy dream for me.” Jesse Wharton also created both Clark Park and Columbia Gardens, Montana's best-loved amusement park. Clark provided the funding, but he tasked Wharton with carrying out his vision. An escape from common cares, Columbia Gardens contained a zoo, pavilions, rides, and flower gardens planted with pansies for children to pick.

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319 North Montana Street, Butte, MT ~ Private