Filed Under Butte

Mayer Ignition Works

Butte Historic District

Electrical engineer Edward Mayer demolished his childhood home and an “alley house” behind it in 1928 to build this brick garage for his company Mayer Ignition Works. Ed repaired automobile batteries and electrical wiring here until he retired in 1947. Before Ed built the garage, the Mayer family had a long history at this location. Marcus Daly hired Ed’s father Maxmillian (Max) to be Butte’s first assayer (metals analyst) in 1876. Max later opened a private assaying firm and by 1890 owned two houses on this lot. He and wife Dora and their children lived in a gabled wood-frame house facing South Montana from about 1890 until 1908. They rented the two-room log house in the backyard near the alley to an ever-changing array of widows, mine laborers, and service workers. By 1920, bookkeeper Hubert Nadeau and wife Marie rented the main house; they lived there with their grown children until 1927. Swedish-born spiritualist August Olund was the last person to rent the alley house in 1927. In addition to mining and bartending, he used a crystal ball to tell his clients' fortunes.


Mayer Ignition Works
Mayer Ignition Works front view Source: Google Street View Date: August 2021
Butte, Montana
Butte, Montana Bird's eye view of Silver Bow County, Butte, Montana Source: Wellge, H, J. J Stoner, Beck & Pauli, and W. Coleman & Co. Bird's eye view of Butte-City, Montana, county seat of Silver Bow Co. (Madison, Wis.: J.J. Stoner, 1884) Map. Creator: Madison, Wis. : J.J. Stoner. Date: 1884
Mayer Ignition Works
Mayer Ignition Works Newspaper clipping Creator: Butte Daily Post Date: April 1940
No Landmarks Remain
No Landmarks Remain Newspaper clipping Creator: Butte Daily Post Date: June 1936
Mayer Ignition Works
Mayer Ignition Works View of garage Creator: The Butte Daily Post Date: May 9, 1928


216 South Montana Street, Butte | private


Montana Historical Society, “Mayer Ignition Works,” Historic Montana, accessed July 13, 2024,