Butte National Historic Landmark District
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 third of those miners emigrated from England, many of them from the copper mining district of Cornwall. James and Edith Burnett lived here by 1910, with their two children and two of James’s older brothers, John and Steven. All three men worked as miners. Their father was originally from Cornwall, but the brothers grew up in Lancashire, where their dad mined iron. John was the first of the brothers to seek his fortune in Butte, leaving England in 1898. James was next, arriving in Butte in 1902, followed by Edith and the children in 1906, and Steven in 1909. It seems that James left the mining life behind as quickly as he could. By 1920, the family had moved to Oakland, California, where James worked as a railroad machinist. By that year, another family of English immigrants occupied the residence: fifty-three year-old miner William Rowe and his wife Martha.