Butte National Historic Landmark District
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 Hoisting Works, Clark’s Original Hoisting Works, and an extensive tram and rail network that hauled the ore to nearby smelters. By 1900, the Gagnon and Original works ran day and night; the roar of the steam engines and rattle of ore cars made it impossible for this home’s residents to forget Butte’s reason for being. A short walk down the hill led to busy Granite Street and the city's commercial and governmental center. The house’s proximity to mines and businesses reflected the intricate interconnection of Butte’s industrial, residential, and commercial zones. Widow Ellen Burns, who lived here from 1923 until her death at age sixty in 1931, surely appreciated the home’s proximity to Granite Street, where she worked as a “janitress” at the Butte Water Works. She shared the small residence, valued at $1,200 in 1930, with her miner brother, Dennis Leary.