825 West Mercury Street
Wealthy banker Nesbit Rochester bought this bay-fronted brick building as an investment property during the summer of 1906. The building was listed among other “large homes” for sale that summer for $4,500. Nesbit and family lived just a few doors down at 845 West Mercury. Tastefully designed two-story brick buildings and larger apartment buildings proliferated in Butte at the turn of the twentieth century to house the city’s exploding population. Large or growing middle- and upper-middle class families could occupy both floors as a single-family home, while widows, small families, or investors could divide the floors into three-room apartments. In 1909, widow Mary Kelly lived here with her sons, deputy county assessor Thomas Kelly and deputy sheriff John P. Kelly. By 1923, Mary and sons had moved to Park Street, and her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Malcolm McLeod, were in residence. The building’s distinctive flat-arch clinker brick lintels above each window and relief diamond pattern belt course at the roofline reflected the upper-middle-class status of its occupants and fit in well among its decorative Queen Anne style neighbors.