St. Mary's Neighborhood, Butte

This historically Catholic neighborhood appropriately takes its name from St. Mary’s parish, which included the Irish communities of Dublin Gulch (since leveled) and Corktown. Known as the “miner’s church,” St. Mary’s scheduled services around shift changes, and early Sunday mornings miners’ lunch buckets filled its vestibule as men stopped for mass on their way to work. The first St. Mary’s, built in 1902 on North Wyoming, burned in 1931; the parish quickly rebuilt on North Main across from the Original Mine. Slavs and Finns moved to the area in the 1910s, and like their Irish neighbors, the men worked in the mines. Miles of mine tunnels wind their way below St. Mary’s streets. Above ground, the head frames of the Original, Steward, and Anselmo Mines dominate the skyline, potent symbols of the industry’s significance to those who lived in their shadows. Amidst this industrial backdrop stand tight clusters of working-class houses, over 70 percent of which were built before 1900. Often located on small dead end streets or tucked right up against the railroad tracks, these vernacular wooden homes evoke an earlier time, when miners walked to work. At the turn of the twentieth century, the narrow streets were filled with noise: shouting children and bellowing livestock (many in the neighborhood kept cows and pigs) and the unceasing din of the mine yards and railroads. Mine whistles punctuated the clamor, announcing shift changes. When pit mining replaced underground mining in the 1950s, many families moved on. With its parishioners gone, St. Mary’s Church closed in 1986.

111 West Copper Street

Built in the shadow of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company’s sprawling Original and Gagnon mines, boarding houses and apartments once crowded along this block. The Scandinavian Methodist Episcopal Church occupied the second story of a rooming house on…

125 West Copper

A row of small one-story dwellings occupied the west half of this block in 1884. By 1900, the James McBride family was in residence. Like most of his immediate neighbors, James was a miner born in Ireland. He and his wife Margaret—a native of Kerry,…

318 North Alabama Street

Fish-scale shingles, a bay window, and a porch tucked into the entry define this Queen Anne style cottage and its mirror image next door. Irish-born Patrick McCarthy, a well-known meat market proprietor, built the two houses in 1897 as rental…

409 Alaska

Among the oldest survivors in the neighborhood, this four-room shotgun house was built between 1888 and 1890. That year, Butte boasted almost 11,000 people and over eighty operating mines. Mining refuse dumps separated the home from the Gagnon…

611 North Main Street

Copper king William A. Clark and other prominent businessmen platted the Warren and Kingsbury Addition in 1878 just above Clark’s Original Mine. In 1888, a small wooden dwelling occupied this lot. This one-story duplex, with a rubble stone…

614 North Alaska

Close proximity to the Original and Stewart mines guaranteed a steady stream of miners to keep the beds of this boardinghouse occupied. Built circa 1890, the two-story bay-fronted flat accommodated at least a dozen lodgers. From 1895 to 1906, Welsh…

633 West Quartz

Carpenter Lewis Morris built this Queen Anne style cottage in 1898 for approximately $300 during Butte’s second building boom. Lap siding, turned porch supports, and decorative glass ornament the home’s basic form, while a hundred-year-old cottonwood…

833 West Quartz

Butte architect H. M. Patterson designed this brick home for attorney John Colter in the 1890s. Semicircular windows in the gables, stone lintels, a prominent portico supported by Tuscan columns, and an inviting front porch ornament the residence.…

Bridget Shea Residence

Tucked into the steep slope of Butte hill, this wonderfully preserved four-square cottage well represents Butte’s working backbone. Real estate mogul Josiah Beck built the modest home in 1885 over the Silver King Lode. Charles Eltinge, its first…

Corby Residence

A one-story wooden residence built between 1888 and 1890 marked the earliest development of this lot. A brick-veneered Queen Anne style cottage stood in its place by 1916. Smaller than its high style counterparts, the one-story residence still…

Duggan Residence

Butte miners called the deadly rocks that fell in mine tunnels “Duggans.” The reference was to undertaker Lawrence Duggan, who lived in this house from 1910 until his death in 1939. One of the first professionally trained embalmers in Butte, Duggan…

Federal Building, Butte

For one dollar copper king Marcus Daly and J. H. Leyson donated the land to construct this massive brick and stone civic building. Local builders Shackleton and Whiteway won the bid for the $279,000 building, and ground-breaking took place in October…

Mountain View Church Parsonage

When the Mountain View Methodist Episcopal Church located on the corner of Quartz and Montana in 1880, a small, narrow frame dwelling on this site served the early pastors. The congregation quickly outgrew its quarters and members broke ground for…

Mountain View Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Hugh Duncan, a circuit-riding minister, led Butte's first Methodist Episcopal services in 1873. A dance hall, and later a school, served the early congregation. The first church built on this prominent corner in 1883 soon became…

Quartz Street Fire Station

A catastrophic fire in 1879 destroyed all evidence of Butte’s first commercial district. Wooden buildings were subsequently outlawed on Main Street, but even so, fire has altered the commercial landscape in every decade from 1879 to the present. This…

Scott Block

Single copper miners found ample accommodations at this fine boarding house, built in 1897 by the Scott family. The handsome brick building with its full-height opposing bays, transomed windows, bracketed wood cornice, and central name plate…

St. Mary's Church

Square towers, a central circular window, and stained glass grace this Catholic church, which long represented the heart and soul of Butte’s Irish community. St. Mary’s Parish, founded in 1902 by Bishop John Brondel, encompassed a neighborhood of…

Tuttle Building

Shelley Tuttle began a Butte foundry and machine shop business in 1881. By 1890, the expanded Tuttle Manufacturing and Supply Company had a plant in Anaconda and employed twelve machinists, blacksmiths, molders, and pattern makers. Tuttle supplied…