Walkerville Neighborhood, Butte

Miners north of Missoula Gulch struck silver in 1872, and three years later Rollo Butcher located the Alice, one of the richest silver mines on the Hill. Butcher is credited with building the first permanent residence in Walkerville, and the Butchertown neighborhood bears his name. Word of Butcher’s rich claim soon filtered back to Utah, where Montana’s silver ore was sent for processing. The Walker brothers (Joseph, Samuel, Matthew, and David) of Salt Lake City sent their agent, future copper king Marcus Daly, to investigate. Daly, for whom Daly Street is named, recommended that the Walkers purchase the Alice, and in 1876 Walkerville was born. Although other mining entrepreneurs filed profitable claims, the Walkers dominated the camp. They owned the largest boarding house, financed the Broughton Brothers general store, established the Alice Hospital, the Alice Reading Room, the Alice Fire Department, and the Alice Mine and Mill Band. In 1878, that band paraded with over 150 members of the newly formed Butte Workingmen’s Union, protesting because the Walkers cut wages from $3.50 to $3.00 per day. The Walkers restored the $3.50 rate, giving the union its first victory. After Walkerville incorporated in 1890, William Hall, the Alice Mine’s superintendent, became its first mayor, naming the streets William, Rose, Pearl, and Sybil for his children. A cable car connected Walkerville to Butte in 1889, and Walkerville grew as Butte miners moved into densely clustered houses. Nevertheless, evidence of Walkerville’s origins as a silver camp remain. Many Main Street buildings date to the 1870s and 1880s, and the community retains an independent spirit.

119 West Daly

Joseph Walker, president of the Alice Gold and Silver Mine, platted the streets near his mine to provide convenient housing for mine workers. However, when he sold the lots, he kept the mineral rights. By separating mineral rights from property…

1600 North Main Street

In 1880, when Joseph Broughton arrived in Walkerville, the booming silver town was a relatively isolated settlement. The Walker brothers—for whom the town is named—had purchased the Alice Mine only four years earlier with the help of their agent,…

61 Bennett

Almost a quarter of the buildings in Walkerville are four-square, hip-roof residences, what housing catalogs called “workingman’s cottages.” Quick and inexpensive to build, they provided homes for Walkerville miners and their families. Roughly a…

723 West Daly (Dewey Point)

Shortly after F. J. Brule’s 1906 survey, Walkerville carpenter Ed Reimel built this one-and-one-half-story, brick-veneered home with extended eaves and a hipped roof dormer with flared ends. Victorian elements include beveled glass windows in the…

727 West Daly Street

The younger brother of Walkerville merchants Joseph and George Broughton, James lived with George after arriving in the booming silver camp, sometime before 1885. Among his many jobs, James worked as a bartender, clerk, whisky distilling agent,…

George Dent's Barbershop

Little evidence survives today of the industrial giant that once consumed this neighborhood. By 1889 when the first cable car ran on an impressive trestle to the north above the settlement, the Moulton and Alice mines were fully developed and…

Kelly House

Beveled lap siding, turned porch supports, and a spindle frieze decorate this functional, working-class residence, built circa 1896. The hipped-roof cottage was home to the Kelly family for over seventy years. Irish miner Cornelius Kelly and his wife…

Richmond Apartments

As World War I raged in Europe, Butte boomed, its economy buoyed by the high price of copper. Among its many other uses, copper was an essential ingredient in brass, which was used to make shell casings. To house Butte's growing population, real…

St. Lawrence O'Toole Church

Bishop Brondel created Butte’s second Catholic parish, that of St. Lawrence O’Toole, in 1897. Constructed with $25,000 raised by miners’ subscription on land donated by the Butte and Boston Mining Company, the Gothic Revival style church was…

Caplice & McCune Store

The masonry buildings in the heart of Walkerville reflect the town’s nineteenth-century silver-mining roots. Mining investors, the Walker Brothers of Salt Lake, and future copper king Marcus Daly began developing silver mines here in 1876. Joseph…